Embroidery as a Supply of Palestinian Identity

Among the many turmoil and tragedy of current Palestinian existence, the fantastic thing about Palestinian embroidery is like a ray of light that brings a smile to most individuals’s faces. Whether one resides in Palestine or anyplace else across the globe, it’s a source of nice satisfaction and pleasure that one incorporates into one’s life, whether as pillows and wall hangings to decorate a house, a traditional dress to wear at particular parties, a chic night jacket, or a priceless gift to offer a friend. As old workshops and younger designers find new methods to introduce Palestinian embroidery into elegant trendy wear, the survival of this valuable heritage is perpetuated and strengthened.

Though some particular person features of Palestinian costume and embroidery are shared with aspects of textile arts of neighboring Arab international locations, the Palestinian traditional dress style has its special uniqueness that is easily acknowledged by textile artwork lovers everywhere in the world. Most books on worldwide embroidery present Palestinian traditional costume and embroidery as the prime instance of Middle Jap embroidery, affirming its worldwide fame.

How did this artwork type develop? Actually, a study of the event of the traditional Palestinian costume through the ages proves that this traditional costume incorporates historical information that documents centuries of textile-artwork improvement within the region, an art kind that has by some means amazingly survived to this day. Whether one research the traditional traditional simple minimize of the thobe, the history of the headdresses and equipment, the superb variety of styles of embroidery, the types of stitches, or the ancient origins of its patterns and motifs, one is deeply impressed with the historical richness of this legacy that dates back thousands of years, and which affirms the antiquity of Palestinian existence and roots, and the survival of its historical heritage.

The fantastic thing about the Palestinian costume fashion had its influence on Europeans ranging from at the very least the tenth to twelfth centuries AD, through the Crusades. Arab types were copied in Europe, as documented by several European historians. The strong trade between the Arab world and Europe in the course of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries AD, through the European Renaissance, was another instance of the spread of Arab textiles and embroidery to Europe. This resulted in Arab embroidery patterns being copied into European pattern books beginning in 1523 in Germany, utilizing the newly discovered printing press, and spreading quickly by translated variations to Italy, France, and England. Ranging from the eighteenth century, Europeans touring the Middle East described the beauty of Palestinian costume and embroidery, and took embroideries back house as souvenirs, considering them spiritual artifacts from the Holy Land. In his book History of People Cross Stitch (1964), the historian Heinz Kiewe presents a chapter on “Historical cross stitch symbols from the Holy Land,” in which he confirms his “perception within the widespread, Palestinian supply of those designs” used in European folks embroideries, because the patterns utilized in Palestinian traditional dresses have been considered of religious significance and copied into European folk embroidery over the past a number of centuries for that reason. He mentions, for example, fundamental Palestinian patterns such because the eight-pointed star and reesh(feathers), whose acquired European names turned Holy Star of Bethlehem and Holy Keys of Jerusalem. Kiewe also mentions the transfer of Palestinian embroidery patterns to Europe by St. Francis of Assisi and their use in church embroideries, which were recopied within the nineteenth century by the embroidery workshops of Assisi, whose embroidery style grew to become famous all through Europe. In the early-nineteenth century, several European missionary groups collected Palestinian costumes and embroideries for show in Europe, normally for church exhibits. These collections finally discovered their method into important European museums and represent a few of the oldest extant items of Palestinian embroidery.