Palestinian Textile and Embroidery
Dr. Niran Kilanou - Iraq
In 1982, the Russian researchers, Bougdanouf and Boujkarif, published their book, Contemporary Art of Arab Palestinian, and Dr.Niran Kilanou translated the part on Palestinian textile and embroidery. Dr. Kilanou shows that weaving has been one of the oldest Palestinian arts. Old Palestinians had carpet weaving centers in Safad, Majdal, al-Karm, Nablus, Abu Dees, al-Jalil, and Nazareth since the turn of the Middle Ages. Palestinian weavers made beautiful carpets, clothes, saddles and sacks for sowing seeds and household utensils. This is confirmed by European and Arab travelers in the 19th century. These remark that there were 300 weaving looms in Nazareth, 500 in al-Majdal and toward the end of the 19th century every Palestinian family had their own loom.
This traditional art distinguishes Palestinians from other people in other Arab countries. Palestinians have considered textile and embroidery a crucial necessity, and each single pattern or figure represents a particular geographical area. This has yielded a great artistic value to Palestinian women’s clothes which are still distinguished by their colorful inscriptions and ornaments despite the modern developments that influenced the cloth industry.
The article also states that inscription is one the Palestinian applied arts which have developed individually, for inscribers have high-level potentials and they employ a variety of patterns such as the cross, the stitch, the fixture (i.e. fixing thick silk or gold threads on the piece of cloth). These patterns vary in colors including brown, dark and light red, pink, and the amount of silk or gold thread increases or decreases according to the fabric itself (i.e. cotton, silk, velvet, etc.). The common characteristic of the different forms of Palestinian outfits is the harmony that reflects their development. Textile and embroidery mirror the Palestinian national identify.