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Palestinian Tatreez Embroidery: Waste Canvas on Denim

Date(s) - 06/21/2019
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Jerusalem Fund


$40 USD
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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.

Students will embroider the tree of life on denim, which is a bit tougher to puncture than other fabrics and will train students on how to embroider onto Tote bags — which is the final class in the Jerusalem Fund series. In the class, students will learn pattern transferring techniques, two methods of cross-stitch, proper use of thread, threading a needle, and how to strategically place embroidery on a piece of cloth. For those that are returning students or have experience can get started immediately, and request strategic guidance as they go.

No experience required. All materials are provided — but, bring your own tweezers if you have a certain set that you are most comfortable using! And, don’t forget your glasses!

This class intends to preceed the final class in the Jerusalem Fund Series that focuses on advanced motifs on tote bags.

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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