Doukhobors - Spirit Wrestlers

Stitches In Time

"Toil and peaceful life" -Doukhobor maxim

In the course of their migrations, the Doukhobors came into contact with many cultures: a number of traditions have influenced their choice of clothing. Winter attire always included a quilted vest or jacket — a "spirit warmer" (in Russian, dushagreika). Whether plain or fancy, it was an essential article of clothing. In making clothing and other textile items, Doukhobors preferred to use natural fibres such as wool and linen. Doukhobor rugs can be especially beautiful. Many are used as decorative wall hangings and have become prized family heirlooms.

Do Doukhobors Still Spin Their Own Wool and Flax?

Many older Doukhobor women own a spinning-wheel and know how to use it, but the fleece they spin into yarn is no longer from their own sheep, and the flax they spin into linen is not from their fields. Very few members of the younger generation of Doukhobors know how to use a spinning-wheel.

If you visit one of the Doukhobor museums, you may be able to see a spinning or weaving demonstration for yourself.

Do Doukhobors Make Their Own Clothes?

Doukhobor women are considered excellent seamstresses and knitters. In the past, they were able to sew complicated items from memory. Many still make their own clothes today. However, the younger generation is more likely to buy clothes.

How Do Doukhobors Dress Today?

Just like any other Canadians. Today, Doukhobor women only wear their traditional outfits (which include the kerchief, blouse, skirt and apron) on special occasions or during choir performances. Doukhobor men gave up their distinctive tall leather boots and long outer shirts at the beginning of the century, but some still wear their fur hats of Russian and Cossack design.