Embroidery as a Supply of Palestinian Identity

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Among the many turmoil and tragedy of present Palestinian existence, the fantastic thing about Palestinian embroidery is like a ray of light that brings a smile to most people’s faces. Whether one is living in Palestine or wherever else across the globe, it’s a source of great satisfaction 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, a sublime night jacket, or a valueless reward to provide a friend. As old workshops and younger designers discover new methods to introduce Palestinian embroidery into elegant trendy wear, the survival of this precious heritage is perpetuated and strengthened.

Though some individual features of Palestinian costume and embroidery are shared with features of textile arts of neighboring Arab international locations, the Palestinian model has its particular uniqueness that is easily recognized by textile artwork fanatics all around the world. Most books on international embroidery present Palestinian traditional dress traditional costume and embroidery as the prime example of Middle Japanese embroidery, affirming its worldwide fame.

How did this artwork form develop? Actually, a examine of the development of the traditional Palestinian costume by the ages proves that this traditional costume accommodates historical knowledge that documents centuries of textile-art improvement in the area, an artwork type that has someway amazingly survived to this day. Whether or not one research the ancient traditional easy lower of the thobe, the history of the headdresses and equipment, the wonderful variety of types 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 thousands of years, and which affirms the antiquity of Palestinian existence and roots, and the survival of its historical heritage.

The beauty of the Palestinian costume type had its influence on Europeans ranging from at least the tenth to twelfth centuries AD, during the Crusades. Arab styles have been copied in Europe, as documented by several European historians. The strong trade between the Arab world and Europe through 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 pattern books starting in 1523 in Germany, using the newly discovered printing press, and spreading quickly via translated versions to Italy, France, and England. Starting from the eighteenth century, Europeans touring the Middle East described the fantastic thing about Palestinian costume and embroidery, and took embroideries back dwelling as souvenirs, considering them religious 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 “perception in the frequent, Palestinian supply of these designs” utilized in European folk embroideries, because the patterns utilized 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 example, 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 style became famous all through Europe. Within the early-nineteenth century, a number of European missionary groups collected Palestinian costumes and embroideries for display in Europe, often for church exhibits. These collections finally discovered their manner into necessary European museums and symbolize a few of the oldest extant items of Palestinian embroidery.

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