This table runner (it’s too big to be a scarf!) is a traditional Palestinian cross-stitch design from Dr. Shirazi’s collection (see bottom of post for details on the collection). You can get an idea of the scale from my notebook and pen visible in the top left. I also think I may have photographed it upside-down (oops) because some of the motifs look like some kind of plant (corn? wheat? whatever they raise over there), and they look like they grow the other direction. Sorry about that, y’all!
Cross-stitch seems to be a traditional Palestinian form of embroidery – Google Image search produces a whole lot of beautiful works. Most of the color schemes are based around red, and the patterns tend to be geometric. I will have to look into why red is so common, because it seems to be a really standard color base. It’s hard to photograph the full piece since it’s so large. Here is a closeup of part of it:
And next is an even closer photo where you can see the individual stitches. This took absolutely incredible amount of work. Honestly, even one of the rows from this design would take a lot of time!
The back is very neatly done too.
This is one of a special series of posts based on the embroidery collection of Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is on “textiles, dress, gender identity discourse, and material culture in the Middle East; the meanings of veiling; rituals and rites of passage as they relate to material culture.” Over the years she has collected a number of examples of embroidery from around the world, and has very kindly allowed me to photograph them for my blog.