Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Embroidered Art

While in D.C. I wish there had been more time to visit exhibits but unfortunately I had only one hour to sightsee. That is another great thing about D.C. - one can visit museums and see exhibitions until your heart's content without spending a dime.

My girlfriend suggested that I visit an exhibition called Arabesque currently at Kennedy Center which features among other things, wedding dresses and jewelry and the thought of the two combined totally captured my imagination.

Today I will be sharing from The Brides of the Arab World. "Whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish [weddings] may go on for days or even weeks, echoing ancient customs." While the western white wedding gown is common in the Arab world, traditional wedding gowns tell stories, reflect textile arts or generally illustrate the richness of the culture and society.

One of my favorite textile art or embroidery is something called Tulle-bi-telli. It is a traditional embroidery with thin metal threads. This type of needle work originated in Egypt but is now crafted in other countries. When my husband and I married, he inherited a "telli" piece from his great-grandmother's trousseau. It is such a treasured piece that we actually had a furniture maker build a table around the tablecloth. (Believe it or not, in the town we used to live we still had a furniture craftsman).

The wedding dress that is pictured is one from the 19th century and is on loan from the Royal Khedivial family of Egypt. Most probably this dress would have been a part of the bride's trousseu and it is thought that the dress would have been worn for either the official ceremony
or the writing in the book (the actually recording of the wedding).


  1. Ohhhh! Cheryl! This dress is just gorgeous! I love it! I am enjoying all of your wonderful stories of your trip to Washington! Have a good week...Debbie

  2. What a gorgeous wedding dress! It's nice to view the traditions of different cultures.

  3. This dress is absolutely stunning! How fun you got a chance to tour Washington a bit.

  4. I hope you do get to visit the Tenement Museum one day, Cheryl. It's so interesting.

  5. That dress is just beautiful! I want to go to DC sometime and spend a week there!

  6. absolutely beautiful. Can you imagine wearing something so magnificent? thank you for sharing, I can't wait to come back..j)

  7. stunning dress! Anyone would feel beautiful wearing it, I think.

    I have been too busy and have neglected the blog world but i am caught up with you and your exciting life! Like you, I am an admirer of Justice Ginsberg and amazed that she is up and about; what a brave woman!

  8. Beautiful...thanks for sharing these great pics! Gorgeous dress!