Dress

From the Bethlehem area, modern Palestinian Authority, late 19th - early 20th century AD

This is an extremely fine example of the distinctive dress of the Bethlehem area of Palestine, known as the 'royal' dress (thob malak or malakah).

Bethlehem and neighbouring villages were famous for the technique of embroidery called 'couching', in which silver, gold and silk cord were twisted into elaborate floral and curved patterns. The most densely couched parts of Bethlehem-area dresses were the chest panels. This style of embroidery was influenced by the ornate church vestments and furnishings which women saw in local Christian churches, and by the braid decoration on the uniforms of Ottoman and British officials and soldiers.

Find in the collection online

Dress

  • Detail of embroidery on front of dress

    Detail of embroidery on front of dress

 

More information

Bibliography

S. Weir and S. Shahid, Palestinian embroidery (London, The British Museum Press, 1989)

S. Weir, Palestinian costume (London, The British Museum Press, 1989)

Dimensions

Length: 133.000 cm

Museum number

AOA Ethno 1967.As2.11

EAS35984

Gift of the Jerusalem and the East Mission

Location

Find in the collection online



Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore