Middle Eastern embroidery exhibit in Leiden

The Textile Research Centre of Leiden, NL will present the exhibit Embroidery from the Arab World through August 22, 2010. The exhibit is the first in the Netherlands to showcase Arabic embroidery.

The exhibit will feature "over 60 examples of embroidery, from various Arab countries including the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen."

From the website:

The exhibition looks at various styles of embroidery and how this versatile textile technique is used to decorate men and women’s clothing in a wide variety of forms, colours and designs. The role of the French embroidery company of DMC is highlighted as it has influenced Arab embroidery, especially that from the Mediterranean region, for well over 100 years. The oldest embroideries on display are two fragments from children’s tunics, which date from about the 5th century A.D. These rare pieces come from Coptic Egypt. More recent items include an early 20th century dress and velvet jacket from Bethlehem; a late 20th century man’s cloak from the High Atlas mountains of Morocco, Bedouin dresses from the Northern Sinai; wedding dresses from Morocco, the Siwa Oasis (Egypt) and Saudi Arabia, as well as various types of indigo dresses from Yemen. Some of the embroideries on show are made out of silk, others of linen or wool. Some garments on display are decorated with large, abstract and colourful patterns, other examples are small, geometric and very precise. Many garments are further embellished with a wide range of beads, shells, coins and amulets. All objects derive from the collection of the TRC, Leiden.