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Palestinian Tatreez Embroidery: Advanced Motifs on Tote Bags

By: | posted on: Jul 12, 2019

Date(s) - 07/12/2019
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Jerusalem Fund


$40 USD
Contact Person:



Wafa Ghnaim

Instructor: Wafa Ghnaim

In this 3-hour workshop, students will learn how to embroider, Palestinian style! Students will learn the most traditional embroidery technique used by Palestinian women for centuries — use of the waste canvas fabric. This fabric 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.

This workshop is a follow-up to the Palestinian Embroidery 101 class that teaches the basic cross-stitch. Participants can use their new skill in a practical application by cross stitching a motif on a tote bag, creating their own embroidered creation. This workshop is also ideal for anyone who already knows how to cross-stitch using waste canvas and would like to learn how to confidently apply various motifs onto garments.

Photographs courtesy of @thetatreezcircle and Joanna Barakat.

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.

Photograph by Bryanda Minix

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