Colourful Wedding Shawl with Rainbow Tassels [Siwa Oasis]
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. We'd use this as an awesome feature on the end of a bed.
- Vintage wedding fabric
- Incredible hand detailing and condition
- Unique 1 of a kind piece
- Delicate handcrafted item that needs to be treated with love
- Black nylon fabric base with shells, buttons, sequins, beads and nylon wool tassels embellishments
- Tassels are random bright colours made from polyester wool
- Tassels have been plaited to stop them tangling in the sequins
- Traditional Siwan embroidery base in orange, white, forest green, burgundy and yellow
- Sold as fabric [option of stretching on canvas additional]
- Single sided
- Dry-clean only
- Fabric Length 135cm x Width 78cm
- Tassels included in Fabric Length 173cm x Width94 cm
- Weight 1.6kgs
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.