The Art Of Palestinian Embroidery

Salam everyone. How are you? I took some time off to recover from my trip to Umra during spring break . I feel better now and ready to get back to work.

Today, I want to share with you something that I find special and unique. Something that I did not appreciate when I was younger because I did not understand its value! It has to do with this….

This dress ( Thawb) was given to me as a wedding gift from my parents. Its value is in the handmade cross stitched Palestinian embroidery also known as Tatreez.

As a young bride, that was not a dress I would want to wear because I associated it with older women. But it was a gift, so I kept it.


Over the years, I have only worn that dress for special occasions because I considered it something traditional and unique. According to Asalah magazine:  “Traditionally, embroidery was the principal decoration of rural Palestinian women’s clothing. It was part of a village woman’s daily routine and a means of showing off her personal skills and social identity. The various colors, patterns and styles of dress reflected a woman’s social standing, marital status and wealth”.

Another fascinating fact about Palestinian embroidery is that each region in Palestine has its distinctive embroidery pattern. The examples I am sharing below are from two Palestinian cities;  Gaza and Ramallah.  {photos from the book: Palestinian Tatreez by Widad Qawar and Tanya Naser}

While Palestinian Embroidery may have its roots in traditional dresses, it is not limited to that. Take a look at these home furniture and accessories adorned with Palestinian embroidery….

Margo Zeidan Tatreez

Margo Zaidan Tatreez

And this is how I use Palestinian embroidery in my home….

I have grown to appreciate Palestinian embroidery because it is part of my heritage. My parents are both Palestinian who have immigrated to Jordan after the Israeli occupation. But, even if you have no connection to Palestine, I believe that the harmony between the colors and the mixing of the patterns, truly reflect an artistic touch. Don’t you agree?

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