A Tahriri Bookmark

A few weeks back I went on a workshop at Fabbadashery by Deborah Mullins. We had a talk by her at my Embroiderers Guild and her work was beautiful. I’d already pencilled in her workshops at Fabbadashery so seeing her work just made me even more interested in attending.

Deborah spent three months in Palestine studying their embroidery whilst her husband was on sabbatical there. Originally each area had a distinct style and their own patterns but with all the troubles over the last few decades techniques and styles are being lost. The course I went on was on Tahriri embroidery. These are strips of embroidery that adorned their dresses, making panels for the bodice and also down the skirt.

The embroidery is predominantly couching with the pattern worked out so it’s one continuous thread. Having mastered basic couching with the outer straight lines and the central wiggle, we moved on to the more intricate flowers and hearts bit. We drew the pattern before hand on paper so our brains could get the design in our minds, a bit like we do with quilting patterns.

When I left the class, this is how far I’d got…

Tahriri Embroidery

I popped it in my travelling sewing kit, so whenever I had a few minutes to spare I could do a bit more.Once I finished the couching I started filling in the flowers and hearts with satin stitch, with hindsight I’d probably have been better with a plain thread instead of a variegated, but I was away from home when I started that bit with limited choice of threads.

Today I went to Harrogate for a zip, arriving an hour before the shop opened, so I sat in the sunshine on a park bench and finished it.

Tahriri Embroidery

I decided to make it into a bookmark, I usually have two books on the go and I only have one decent bookmark! I found some batik that matched the colours pretty well, so I stitched up the two sides and hand-stitched the top and bottom over.

Tahriri Embroidery

I’m pretty pleased with my Tahriri embroidery, it’s not perfect by a long stretch, but it’s pretty and having seen how colours and threads work I’ll be much better placed to choose colour schemes when I do the next workshop on Bethlehem embroidery in September.

I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, why not follow the link to find lots of hand-sewn inspiartion.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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26 Responses to A Tahriri Bookmark

  1. Jane M says:

    That is gorgeous, so intricate. Beautiful colours too

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill says:

    Such pretty embroidery. I like how you photographed the different stages of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    The colours are wonderful and it looks very tactile. A super bookmark.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Karrin Hurd says:

    Gorgeous stitching, love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your intricate stitching on this! What fun to learn something new like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s beautiful! What a wonderful opportunity to learn new stitches and learn about another culture!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mandycurrie says:

    Hi Margaret, this is stunning, I would love to try this technique, there is such different styles in the middle east too. Regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So pretty! I appreciate that you explained your process so thoroughly!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathyreeves says:

    What a wonderful new technique, the effect is quite marvelous. This was a unique opportunity to learn a beautiful form of embroidery!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a very interesting technique. Do you have any links to photos of the traditonal dress to get an idea of the ‘classic’ style?

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Karla, there’s more examples of the actual embroidery on Deborah’s website (link above) but if you google Palestinian traditional embroidered dress there’s lots of photos come up with a panel in the centre and strips round the cuffs and down the skirt.


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