I’m Jewish, but a BT and my grandmother sewed, but did not do embroidery. I am also into middle ages historical re-enactment (SCA) and trying to figure out what Jews wore in 1200-1300 CE Kiev. How common are traditions of handicrafts in Jewish families? Someone had to make the Torah covers and the synagogue dressings after all, were they made by men who specialized in Judaic artwork or female members of the community? I’ve read that many are attributed to female members of the community, but where did they develop their skills? Was there a secret army of Jewish bubbes doing embroidery though history?
Ukrainians embroider just about everything that doesn’t run away, their “period” clothing is a riot of stitchery, but much of it has pagan and/or Christian meaning behind it. Is there an ashkenaz tradition of clothing decoration as well? I’ve seen examples of embroidery from Jews of the middle east, but not so much from Europe or Russia/Ukraine. I don’t want “boring” clothes, but I want to be authentic as well. I also don’t want to wear a bunch of pagan and Christian symbols to look “nice.”