Class: Beginner Series: An Introduction to Palestinian Thobe Embroidery
This beginner’s workshop series can be taken individually or as a whole series. All materials are provided and no previous skills or experience is required.
Palestinian Embroidery 101 - Aida Cloth Bookmark
To begin learning about the thobe, it is important to learn the anatomy of the garment as well as the basic cross-stitch. The first hour will be used to present the different village costumes worn by Palestinian women before 1948, and new adaptations of thobe embroidery in the modern era. The rest of the class will be dedicated to learning the basic cross-stitch as it was practiced by Palestinian women for centuries, where you will stitch a mini thobe on white Aida cloth and turning it into a bookmark. Wafa will teach you how to measure and execute a small embroidery project, thread color usage, how to transfer patterns to fabric, and two types of cross-stitch methods. Students will finish the class with an abstracted thobe design on a bookmark using 12 count Aida cloth, or a patch to place on clothing.
Introduction to Borders - Stitched Leather Cuff
A traditional Palestinian thobe typically features a repetitive border motif along the sleeve cuffs. What better than to adapt these border motifs to a stitchable, vegan leather cuff! Students will select a border motif provided in class or design their own, and personalize a faux leather cuff using traditional DMC embroidery thread. Each student will leave the class with an insta wearable art piece featuring their favorite Palestinian border motif! Wafa will teach you how to use, design and adapt repetitive border patterns, transfer patterns to cloth, and two types of cross-stitch methods.
Introduction to Panel Designs - Waste Canvas on Denim
The skirt of a Palestinian thobe typically features panels, heavy embroidery that gives a mural-like quality to the skirt of the dress. Panels can be ornamented heavily for special occasions or not at all for practical purposes. In this class, students will be introduced to panel patterns, and learn how to stitch them onto denim using waste canvas. Waste canvas is the most traditional technique used to create the Palestinian thobe. While one may not necessarily jump to making a thobe in their first years of embroidery, students will be inspired to embroider onto the denim they own at home -- a very practical way to personalize ones clothing.Waste canvas allows you to adorn any piece of cloth or clothing, and is an important skill to master if you aspire to create traditional Palestinian embroidered garments. Bring your own tweezers if you have a certain set that you are most comfortable using! And, don't forget your glasses!
Introduction to Chest Designs - Traditional Tatreez on Burlap
The chest design of a traditional Palestinian thobe is notably intricate, and features a unique collage of motifs that communicates a central theme to the meaning of the embroidery of the entire garment. The embroiderer communicates to her viewers through the chest design first, telling us if she will be sharing an educational lesson about snakes, a sentimental story using floral motifs, or documenting the story of Cleopatra. The chest design also gives us the name of the thobe. In the final class of the series, Wafa will teach you how to assemble a chest design, manage medium-sized embroidery projects, and learn how to embroider with burlap with the hope to inspire her students to continue on to their own project and produce a thobe of their very own.