Palestinian design by Jordan Nassar

I have just finished this beautiful design by Jordan Nassar, an American born Palestinian embroiderer. The design was commissioned by the London based The Mosaic Rooms for a project called Let’s Tatreez. The design is available as a free download and is aimed at encouraging people to experiment with traditional Palestinian embroidery. I needed no encouragement as I love this embroidery. Here is the finished work.

For this project I worked on a 14ct Aida in pewter, a fine neutral colour which allowed the embroidery to stand out. As recommended by Jordan Nassar I used a perlé cotton from the DMC range, size No 8. I chose to do this work in just two colours – a very dark violet and a bright green.

This is the first time I have worked with the No 8 size. Previously I have used No 5 perlé. This is a bit harder to work with due to its greater thickness. Though it does make the work really stand out. Anyway I think I will work with No 8 for my future Palestinian embroidery work.

I love the design and way the various motifs work together. The piece features a few of my favourite motifs – damask rose and chick peas and raisins in particular. I also recognised feathers, which form the outside panels of the upper section.

The other motifs were new to me, which was another bonus from stitching this piece. I reckon these included carnation branch, wide open eye and two versions of chain. Some of the design may not be traditional motifs, but just little patterns to complete the overall composition. It all worked and I am sure any Palestinian woman would be delighted to have this design as part of her dress.

Not sure what will happen to my version. Needs a bit stretching and then we’ll see. My thanks to The Mosaic Room for creating this project and to Jordan Nassar for creating this wonderful design.

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