Palestian Embroidery, £10.99
Length: 132.000 cm
Gift of the Jerusalem and the East Mission
AOA Ethno 1967.As2.21
Africa, Oceania, Americas
From Galilee, northern Palestine, probably 19th century AD
Coats like this were the main item of clothing worn by women in villages of the Galilee hills until the early twentieth century. They were either relatively plain (dura'ah) or, as here, highly decorated (jillayeh) with taffetta patchwork and silk embroidery for special occasions.
The coat is made from locally-woven indigo-dyed cotton. In similar examples patches of red, yellow and green taffeta (heremzi) and satin (atlas) are outlined in coloured silk thread so that the coat is reversible. The geometric designs of the embroidery on the back and side were made using a variety of stitches: running stitch, cross stitch, satin stitch, hem stitch, stem stitch and drawn thread work.
S. Weir, Palestinian costume (London, The British Museum Press, 1989)