Embroidery as a Source of Palestinian Identity

Among the many turmoil and tragedy of present Palestinian existence, the fantastic thing about Palestinian traditional dress 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 anyplace else around the globe, it is a supply of great satisfaction and joy that one incorporates into one’s life, whether as pillows and wall hangings to decorate a house, a traditional dress to wear at particular events, a sublime night jacket, or a worthless present to present a friend. As old workshops and younger designers discover new methods to introduce Palestinian embroidery into elegant modern wear, the survival of this precious heritage is perpetuated and strengthened.

Though some particular person options of Palestinian costume and embroidery are shared with aspects of textile arts of neighboring Arab countries, the Palestinian style has its special uniqueness that is easily acknowledged by textile art lovers all over the world. Most books on worldwide embroidery current Palestinian traditional costume and embroidery because the prime example of Center Japanese embroidery, affirming its worldwide fame.

How did this art kind develop? Truly, a examine of the development of the traditional Palestinian costume by means of the ages proves that this traditional costume accommodates historical information that documents centuries of textile-artwork development in the area, an art type that has somehow amazingly survived to this day. Whether one studies the ancient traditional easy reduce of the thobe, the history of the headdresses and accessories, the superb number of types 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 1000’s of years, and which affirms the antiquity of Palestinian existence and roots, and the survival of its ancient heritage.

The great thing about the Palestinian costume style had its affect on Europeans ranging from at the very least the tenth to twelfth centuries AD, during the Crusades. Arab kinds have been copied in Europe, as documented by several European historians. The strong trade between the Arab world and Europe throughout the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries AD, during the European Renaissance, was another example of the spread of Arab textiles and embroidery to Europe. This resulted in Arab embroidery patterns being copied into European sample books starting in 1523 in Germany, using the newly discovered printing press, and spreading quickly via translated versions to Italy, France, and England. Ranging from the eighteenth century, Europeans touring the Center East described the fantastic thing about Palestinian costume and embroidery, and took embroideries back home 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 “Historic cross stitch symbols from the Holy Land,” in which he confirms his “belief within the frequent, Palestinian source of those designs” used in European people embroideries, because the patterns used in Palestinian traditional dresses have been considered of religious significance and copied into European folk embroidery over the last a number of centuries for that reason. He mentions, for instance, basic Palestinian patterns such because the eight-pointed star and reesh(feathers), whose acquired European names became Holy Star of Bethlehem and Holy Keys of Jerusalem. Kiewe additionally mentions the switch 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 model grew to become famous throughout Europe. In the early-nineteenth century, several European missionary teams collected Palestinian costumes and embroideries for display in Europe, normally for church exhibits. These collections finally found their approach into essential European museums and symbolize a few of the oldest extant items of Palestinian embroidery.