The ethnographic tale of Matyo
First created in the 1800s, Matyo is rather modern compared to other crafts known to have originated in Europe. Yet, it is one of the world’s most culturally relevant art forms to have defined the legacy of its people, so much so that it is on UNESCO’s list of humanity’s intellectual and ethnic heritage. Matyo is a superbly vibrant and distinctive folk art, native to the town of Mezőkövesd in North Eastern Hungary. Despite its humble beginnings at a local settlement, it was being extensively exhibited and appreciated outside Hungary by the late nineteenth century. By 1950, Matyo embroidery was being produced by almost 500 Hungarian artisans for lifestyle items such as blouses, textiles and dolls.
Today, the craft of Matyo has become a vital part of Hungary’s identity and is also the topic of various folk tales which describe symbolism of various colors used to create this embroidery.
Handiwork and Hues
The matyórózsa or Matyó rose along with oak rose, tulip leaves and buds are featured prominently in classic versions of this embroidery. However, Hungary being a melting pot of Roman, Persian and Salvic among other cultures, has given birth to many interpretations of Matyo. While some forms reflect a distinct glimpse of European renaissance, other versions bear Turkish influence evident through their extensive use of Tulip flowers. Traditional Hungarian costumes also incorporate cutwork and lace to add a decorative flare.
Regardless of origin, Matyo is known for its consistent use of floral motifs and bold colors to create lush embroidery which is nearly three dimensional in nature. Embroidery techniques usually include cross stitch, buttonhole stitch and satin stitch.
A Modern Interpretation
While Mayto is often spotted on fashion runways all over the world, the craft has never truly made it inside modern homes in the form of decor and soft furnishings. With our Matyo collection, we continue our streak of integrating global crafts into everyday home essentials that add contemporary charm to even the humblest of abodes.
A part of the collection features colorful cotton fabrics which play canvas to matching prints inspired by Matyo motifs. This monochromatic theme pays homage to the very first Matyo embroidery ever created using a single colored thread. The capsule includes dining essentials like oven mitts, pot holders, kitchen towels, aprons, table cloths and fashion scarves in vibrant yellow, green and pink. The print is further elevated as cushion covers and table runners are adorned with multicolored thread trims while aprons feature contrasting straps.
Another capsule from the collection is centered around reincarnating the Matyo craft in its truest form. White slub cotton and other solid colored fabrics have been adorned with bold colored floral embroidery, making for striking cushion covers, clutch purses, pouf covers and a table runner.
These contrasting approaches towards the craft afford home fanatics with compelling decor options rooted in genuine craftsmanship and art. Be it printed or embroidered, every item is a chance to introduce cultural and global diversity into the living space.