Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Embroidery from Palestine (Fabric Folios) Paperback by Shelagh Weir (University of Washington Press)
This book focuses on the spectacular embroidery that flourished in rural Palestine in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. During this period Arab village women embellished their ceremonial costumes with a variety of materials and techniques: lustrous silk floss embroidery, intricate cord couching, and taffeta and satin patchwork. Embroidery styles varied throughout the country, so that each garment was both a work of art and an expression of village and regional identity. Shelagh Weir outlines the cultural context in which this beautiful work was produced, describes the main types of ornamentation, and explains how and why fashions changed through time. Over twenty pieces are illustrated in full and in detail, with captions identifying their provenances and highlighting their most important aesthetic features. Also provided are a glossary of terms and suggestions for further reading. Designers and artists cannot fail to be inspired by the striking colors and patterns of this superb example of human creativity.