The Southern Coastal (Gaza) Region
This southern coastal region was famous for its weaving centers located in the village of Majdal. After the war of 1948, and the expulsion of the Palestinians from their ancestral villages, these centers moved to Gaza and Lydda where they continued to produce their famous narrow-cut (maqta) dark cotton fabric with purple or green silk stripes (Abu Mitayn, jiljileh, janeh wa-nar) used in this area’s dresses.
The embroidery on these dresses is in cross-stitch using predominantly purple color, famous for this area since Canaanite time. Canaanites extracted this precious purple color from Murex seashells and gave Canaanits name; the land of the purple. The motifs embroidered on the dress were: stair, cypress tree, comb and the hijab patterns.
The chest panel of early twentieth century dresses differ from other regions in beingembroidered onto the main fabric of the dress rather than on a separate square panel as is the casein most of the Palestinian regions. The chest embroidery is a V-shape necklace (kilada) with inverted cypress tree patterns.
Veils in this region were made of three pieces of linen with cotton tassels. The embroidery is in cross-stitch with purple silk thread using similar patterns to those embroidered on the dress. Everyday veils are predominantly of white cotton or of beige and white stripped cotton.
Belts worn in this region of Palestine were usually the zunnar kashnir or ishdad. Several other belts used for everyday wear were made of patterned cotton fabric.