Monday, April 27, 2009

Palestinian Embroidery

Palestinian used only one kind of stitch in making embroidered dresses but the patterns and colors used for these dresses vary. The color combinations of the embroidery, the design and the color of the cloth on which the embroidery is done have specific connotations as to the specific region in Palestine where the article was made or the status of the person owning or wearing the article (in the case of women’s dresses, called thobes, the status may be a new bride, an older mother, a pregnant wife, etc.) Also, one can determine where a Palestinian woman comes from through the patterns of the embroidery on her dress and almost each Palestinian town has its own unique pattern. Palestinian embroidery is therefore not only just an art or a craft it is an integral part of the Palestinian geographical and cultural landscape. While many of the patterns used in Palestinian embroidery are designs of geometric shapes, they also include designs which were most familiar to Palestinian women as impressions of their daily surroundings. Depending on the region in Palestine, their embroidery patterns included representations of cypress tree, bunches of grapes, apple tree, cauliflower, cock, pigeon, rainbow, roses, birds, flower pot and extensive other such representations. Geometric designs were given such names as foreign moon, cow's eye, mill wheel, crab, moon with feathers, old man's teeth, bachelor's cushion, the baker's wife, old man upside down and other such creative and often humorous names. Palestinian embroidery very rarely includes patterns with any religious symbols. Despite the fact that the majority of Palestinians are Moslems even thought there have been no obvious Islamic representations in embroidery just like in other forms of art such as calligraphy.

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