Traditional Wedding Shawl with Pom-Pom Flowers [Siwa Oasis]
This spectacular fabric was created by a woman in Siwa Oasis, for her big wedding celebration. Weddings in Siwa Oasis traditionally last 7 days. That means a lot of frockery. This heavily embellished shawl is just one of the many layers of adornment worn by the bride for her festivities.
This really is an amazing, and completely unique, piece of cultural heritage. These textiles look amazing stretched, over a canvas frame, and mounted on a wall. I think this could be used to amazing effect as a feature at the end of a bed.
- Vintage wedding fabric
- Incredible hand detailing and condition
- Unique 1 of a kind piece
- Delicate handcrafted item
- Black nylon fabric base with silky tassels, metal sequin's and nylon wool embellishments
- Tassels are tangled and matted due to this items vintage nature
- Traditional Siwan embroidery on black nylon base
- Embroidery is in orange, white, forest green, burgundy and yellow
- Sold as fabric [option of stretching on canvas additional]
- Single sided
- Dry-clean only
- Fabric Length 116cm x Width 89cm
- Tassels included in Fabric Length 140cm x Width 99cm
- Weight 0.7kgs
Siwa is a large oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt, which has been occupied since at least the first millennium BC. Since the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries or earlier, the Swa or Ti-Swa people, a Berber group, have inhabited the oasis. Until the late twentieth century Siwa was one of the country’s most isolated settlements and over the centuries it developed a distinct culture.
Much of the traditional embroidery made in the Siwa Oasis is intended for the wedding outfit of young brides and thereafter worn as a marker of marital status by newly-wed women.
Until the last quarter of the twentieth century, a basic bridal outfit consisted of decorative trousers (srawelin khatem), various dresses, head and body coverings and shoes (zrabin). Most of the bridal garments and related items were made and embroidered by the girl’s mother and the girl herself, with the aid of other female family members. This work started when the girl was three to four years old, as it was common until comparatively recently for most girls to be married by the age of fourteen.
A bride’s trousseau was, and still is, provided by her parents and includes everyday and festive wear. Normally there are between 35 and 75 dresses, and in the case of wealthier families there could be over a hundred. During the period of the wedding a bride wears various outfits that also form part of her trousseau.
The traditional colours of Siwa embroidery and related decorative forms are black, dark green, orange, red and yellow, which are said to be the colours associated with the colours of ripening dates, the main cash crop of the Siwa Oasis.We'd love to hear from you if you have any questions.
*We do our very best to make sure colours are as close to real life as possible. Your computer may not. Silly machines.