Yulia Semchenko was born and raised in the ancient city of Samarkand, the second largest city in Uzbekistan. Historically, it was a cultural and political center of Central Asia and the larger Orient. She grew up in an atmosphere of art, music, and literature.
She began her business in 2018 with the intention to find her place in America while honoring the richness of her native country. Her beautiful jackets, scarves, and vests are made from traditional silk and cotton material, known as ikat—the result of a 2,000-year-old, 37-step handmade process that takes a month to create. The fabrics are made by master artisans in the Uzbek region of Fergana Valley where families have handed down ancient techniques from generation to generation. This material is made either from pure silk or from a combination of cotton and silk. The versatile ikat fabric stays cool in the summer and maintains warmth in the winter. When a seamstress cuts ikat fabric to make clothes, two jackets made of the same material will have different fragments of the material in front, on the back, and on the sleeves of the clothes. This makes the pattern and design of each jacket or vest unique.
In addition to showing her work at the upcoming Takoma Park Folk Festival, Yulia sells her jackets and vests in Things from Egypt and Beyond, in Takoma Park. She has participated in several artisan markets and pop-ups in in Washington D.C. and Bethesda.
Since 2017, she has lived in Rockville, MD with her husband and three children. The international, diverse communities of the greater DC area are a great inspiration.
“I want to tell the world about the traditions and culture of my country, about the people living in it, and about the charm and richness of my land.”