The Jerusalem Region

The Jerusalem area dresses were made from predominantly striped silk fabric imported from Syria, famous for its textile production centers. Some dresses of this area were made from velvet (mukhmal) fabric imported from Europe. Blue, maroon and dark red velvet fabric was popular for dresses of this area and the region around Lydda and Ramleh. Syrian fabric used in making these dresses was known as asawri, ghabani and qasabi.

The embroidery on the sleeves, chest, side and back panels of the Jerusalem dress were embroidered in Bethlehem style couching stitch. The side skirt panel and the pointed sleeves were embroidered on stripes of green with red, or red and orange taffeta inserts that later were stitched to the dress.

These dresses have been worn in villages bordering Jerusalem including Silwan, Lifta, Malha, Ain Karem, Kalonia, Beit Safafa, Al Ezariyyeh (Beit Ania), Beit Hanina, Shu’fat, Deir Yassin, Beit Horon, Al jeeb, and Abu Dis.

In the 1930s several villages began using imported European velvet (Mukhmal) fabric. Black and navy velvet became fashionable in Ain Karem and Malha, while the village of Lifta used an imitation malak velvet fabric imported from Germany, but later was produced locally.

In the late nineteenth early twentieth century, Jerusalem women wore a broadcloth jackets (taqsireh) over the dress made of felt or wool fabric and embroidered with couching stitch. These jackets were made in Bethlehem for Jerusalem area women. After the 1930s, jackets were made out of velvet fabric and embroidered with gold silk thread.

The headpiece in the Jerusalem villages was a small cap (taqiyyeh) embroidered in cross-stitch or couching stitch, and sewn with gold coins.

In the late nineteenth early twentieth century, a veil (Ghudfeh) made of cotton, was worn over the cap and embroidered with silk thread in cross-stitch. The veil was embroidered with predominantly geometric and abstract motifs, like, squares, eight pointed stars, feathers and other motifs popular in this area.

The girdles worn in this region were made of Kashmir fabric similar to Ramallah and other areas of Palestine.