Book review: Palestinian Embroidery Motifs

I found a wonderful cross-stitch book, “Palestinian Embroidery Motifs: A treasury of stitches 1850-1950, ” by Margarita Skinner and Widad Kamel Kawar. Melisende Publishing, London and Rimal Publications, Nicosia, 2007. ISBN 978-1-901764-47-5.

It has over 150 pages of charts and photos of Palestinian cross-stitch (see this example from Dr. Shirazi’s collection). There’s an amazing variety of motifs, borders, and designs, all stylized and very interesting. Somehow they have a totally different flair from most of the cross-stitch designs you find in the US.

I was even inspired to try it myself! This is as far as I got before remembering that I really just don’t enjoy cross-stitch. I love the patterns though, so maybe I can trace them and work them in other embroidery stitches, after I finish up some of my other projects. Isn’t it a neat little flower border?

Here’s a few pages from the book with photos of finished work (plus check out the cover!). There are tons of charts too, but I didn’t think that would be OK for excerpts. The book has a huge variety of interesting designs in it and I definitely recommend it.

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6 Responses to Book review: Palestinian Embroidery Motifs

  1. Radka says:

    My, this is enough to make me start doing a cross stitch, not something I do normally 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lobna says:

    I really want to buy this book, because my hobby is Palestinian cross stitch and I need patterns and design. Please let me know if I can purchase this book online.
    Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Hannah says:

      Yes, it’s available online. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the publisher all have it for sale. Probably other places too. Just search for the name.

      • Lobna-Ottawa - Canada says:

        Thank you Hannah, I just ordered the book from Amazon, I’m so excited….such books cannot be found easily in Canada.
        Please, let me know if you have any other books for Palestinian motifs witch are worth to buy, especially for cushions…. This is what I do. Thanks a lot.
        Ottawa. Canada.

        • Alessandra says:

          Hi Lobna,
          There is a great book that compliments Palestinian Embroidery Motifs called “Threads of Identity: Preserving Palestinian Costume and Heritage” by Widad Kamel Kawar. It includes her entire collection and the stories of the women behind the dresses. Can’t recommend it enough. It can be found on the publisher’s website

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