Embroidery as a Supply of Palestinian Identity

Among the turmoil and tragedy of current Palestinian dress existence, the beauty of Palestinian embroidery is sort of a ray of light that brings a smile to most people’s faces. Whether or not one resides in Palestine or anywhere else across the globe, it’s a source of great pleasure and pleasure that one incorporates into one’s life, whether as pillows and wall hangings to decorate a home, a traditional dress to wear at particular events, an elegant evening jacket, or a priceless present to offer a friend. As old workshops and younger designers find new ways to introduce Palestinian embroidery into elegant fashionable wear, the survival of this precious heritage is perpetuated and strengthened.

Although some particular person options of Palestinian costume and embroidery are shared with aspects of textile arts of neighboring Arab international locations, the Palestinian model has its special uniqueness that’s easily recognized by textile art fanatics all over the world. Most books on worldwide embroidery current Palestinian traditional costume and embroidery as the prime example of Middle Eastern embroidery, affirming its worldwide fame.

How did this art type develop? Really, a examine of the event of the traditional Palestinian costume by the ages proves that this traditional costume incorporates historical information that documents centuries of textile-art improvement within the region, an art type that has someway amazingly survived to this day. Whether or not one studies the traditional traditional easy cut of the thobe, the history of the headdresses and accessories, the wonderful variety 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 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 model had its influence on Europeans ranging from at the least the tenth to twelfth centuries AD, throughout the Crusades. Arab styles were copied in Europe, as documented by several European historians. The sturdy trade between the Arab world and Europe through the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries AD, during the European Renaissance, was one other example of the spread of Arab textiles and embroidery to Europe. This resulted in Arab embroidery patterns being copied into European sample books beginning in 1523 in Germany, using the newly discovered printing press, and spreading shortly by means of translated variations 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 dwelling as souvenirs, considering them spiritual artifacts from the Holy Land. In his book History of Folks Cross Sew (1964), the historian Heinz Kiewe presents a chapter on “Historical cross stitch symbols from the Holy Land,” in which he confirms his “belief within the common, Palestinian supply of these designs” utilized in European folk embroideries, because the patterns utilized in Palestinian traditional dresses had been considered of spiritual significance and copied into European people embroidery over the past a number of centuries for that reason. He mentions, for instance, 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 switch of Palestinian embroidery patterns to Europe by St. Francis of Assisi and their use in church embroideries, which had been recopied in the nineteenth century by the embroidery workshops of Assisi, whose embroidery model grew to become well-known throughout Europe. Within the early-nineteenth century, several European missionary teams collected Palestinian costumes and embroideries for display in Europe, normally for church exhibits. These collections eventually discovered their manner into important European museums and symbolize a number of the oldest extant items of Palestinian embroidery.