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SAUDI ARAMCO WORLD - Palestinian Embroidery Motifs

March 01, 2012

SAUDI ARAMCO WORLD - Palestinian Embroidery Motifs

Palestinian Embroidery Motifs is the perfect companion to Widad Kamel Kawar's Threads of Identity, published in 2006. It identifies, in Arabic and English, the numerous motifs used in the rich variety of Palestinian embroidery styles, so that a particular dress or embroidery panel can be "read." This not only helps locate a piece's place of origin, but greatly adds to the pleasure and interest of each work, with the realization that one is looking at "four eggs in a pan," "chickpeas and raisins," "walls of Jerusalem," or even "leech" and "graves." Cumulatively, gives a powerful sense of the visual world of the women who created these treasures. As well as numerous photographs of both whole robes and details, many of the motifs are very clearly drawn so that they can easily be copied in cross-stitch, petit point, weaving, or drawn or painted decoration.

The book includes a useful introduction and short bibliography, and would be invaluable for anyone interested in textiles and more generally the culture of the region, as well as embroiderers and craftsmen. It is very fortunate that the authors provided the means to identity and locate motifs before the tradition vanishes.

 

Review by Caroline Stone
Saudi Aramco World Magazine
March/April 2012 Issue - page 43