Embroidery as a Source of Palestinian Identity

Among the many turmoil and tragedy of current Palestinian existence, the fantastic thing about Palestinian embroidery is sort of a ray of light that brings a smile to most individuals’s faces. Whether or not one resides in Palestine or wherever else around the globe, it is a supply of great pleasure and pleasure that one incorporates into one’s life, whether or not as pillows and wall hangings to decorate a home, a traditional dress to wear at particular parties, an elegant night jacket, or a valueless present to provide a friend. As old workshops and younger designers find new methods to introduce Palestinian embroidery into elegant modern wear, the survival of this treasured heritage is perpetuated and strengthened.

Though some particular person options of Palestinian costume and embroidery are shared with elements of textile arts of neighboring Arab nations, the Palestinian fashion has its special uniqueness that is simply acknowledged by textile art fanatics all over the world. Most books on international embroidery current Palestinian traditional costume and embroidery as the prime example of Center Jap embroidery, affirming its worldwide fame.

How did this art type develop? Really, a study of the event of the traditional Palestinian costume by the ages proves that this traditional costume comprises historical data that paperwork centuries of textile-art growth within the area, an artwork kind that has one way or the other amazingly survived to this day. Whether one studies the ancient traditional easy minimize of the thobe, the history of the headdresses and accessories, the superb number of kinds of embroidery, the types of stitches, or the traditional origins of its patterns and motifs, one is deeply impressed with the historical richness of this legacy that dates back hundreds of years, and which affirms the antiquity of Palestinian existence and roots, and the survival of its historic heritage.

The fantastic thing about the Palestinian costume fashion had its influence on Europeans ranging from at the least the tenth to twelfth centuries AD, during the Crusades. Arab types had been copied in Europe, as documented by several European historians. The sturdy trade between the Arab world and Europe in the course of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries AD, through the European Renaissance, was one other instance of the spread of Arab textiles and embroidery to Europe. This resulted in Arab embroidery patterns being copied into European pattern books starting in 1523 in Germany, utilizing the newly discovered printing press, and spreading shortly by translated variations to Italy, France, and England. Ranging from the eighteenth century, Europeans touring the Center East described the fantastic thing about Palestinian dress costume and embroidery, and took embroideries back dwelling as souvenirs, considering them non secular artifacts from the Holy Land. In his book History of Folk 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 frequent, Palestinian source of those designs” used in European people embroideries, because the patterns used in Palestinian traditional dresses were considered of religious significance and copied into European folks embroidery over the past several centuries for that reason. He mentions, for example, primary Palestinian patterns such as the eight-pointed star and reesh(feathers), whose acquired European names grew to become Holy Star of Bethlehem and Holy Keys of Jerusalem. Kiewe additionally 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 fashion became famous all through Europe. In the early-nineteenth century, several European missionary teams collected Palestinian costumes and embroideries for display in Europe, usually for church exhibits. These collections eventually discovered their method into essential European museums and characterize a few of the oldest extant items of Palestinian embroidery.