From the southern Plain of Palestine, AD 1920s

Dresses decorated with rich embroidery and patchwork in vibrant colours were formerly associated with Palestinian village women's marital status. Dresses such as this, with full skirts and extravagant pointed sleeves were the most common style worn in southern Palestine villages before 1948. Since the 1980s, village dresses have become less baggy and usually have tight sleeves.

Heavily embroidered dresses were and are particularly associated with celebrations, especially weddings. Before 1948, the different styles and colours of embroidery and other features of Palestinian women's costumes also signified the wearer's local and regional origin.

Find in the collection online

More information


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


Length: 145.000 cm

Museum number

AOA Ethno 1971.As10.1



Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore