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Palestinian Embroidery 101: Birds of Palestine on Aida Cloth

By: | posted on: May 17, 2019

Date(s) - 05/17/2019
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Jerusalem Fund


$20-$40 USD
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Birds are representative of home in Palestinian embroidery. Many different birds are found all over tatreez embroidery for centuries, and communicate a powerful story to following generations. Instructor, Wafa Ghnaim, will lead you through a meditative practice that will teach you the stories behind the patterns, how to strategize design transfers, two types of cross-stitch methods used in Palestinian embroidery, and motif repetition through mirroring.

In this 3-hour intensive, you will leave with an embroidered design mounted in an embroidery hoop to frame and hang on your wall, or give as a gift. You may also use the piece as a patch on clothing or accessories.

All materials are provided. No prior needlework experience required.

Event header image are courtesy of El Bustan, an important initiative that supports Palestinian women embroidery artists. The exact pillow can be found here.

The Tatreez & Tea Workshops are a series of high quality hands-on classes, at low cost and low commitment.

Palestinian tatreez embroidery is a centuries-old folk art, traditionally passed from mother to daughter over a cup of tea.

Tatreez & Tea’s mission is to provide educational resources, namely through workshops, lectures and publications, to preserve Palestinian tatreez embroidery, folk arts and storytelling traditions in the diaspora.

The workshop will focus on preservation of the indigenous, endangered art of Palestinian embroidery. The workshop is centered on Wafa’s digital book, Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which preserves the craft of embroidery as well as the art of storytelling that is encapsulated in each traditional Palestinian motif.

For generations, Palestinian women have gathered together with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Over time, and after the exodus of Palestinians from Palestine in 1948, embroidery has become an endangered art that has been subjected to decades of cultural appropriation. But embroidery represents more than just a village craft of old Palestine — it became the primary form of communication for Palestinian women who used needlework as a way to express their opinions, share their stories, and document their protest of occupation, war and violence.

To learn more about the project, please visit Donations are 100% tax-deductible through the Brooklyn Arts Council.

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