Throughout the Arab world, embroidery has been as central to the cultural heritage of the region as calligraphy, the miniature, woodwork, ceramics or silverware. Embroidered textiles have been produced for thousands of years across North Africa and the Middle East to decorate public buildings, homes and animals as well as to clothe men, women and children. They have played an important role in the social and cultural lives of communities and peoples and have reflected the economic and political changes that have affected the region from the earliest times.
The Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World is the first reference work to chart the history of embroidery from Ancient Egypt to the present day and to offer an authoritative guide to all the major embroidery traditions of the region. It maps the diversity of embroidery from the Maghreb to the Gulf states, from Turkey to Sudan; traces the impact of trade, commerce, politics and religion on materials, colors, styles and fashions; introduces the embroiderers, their materials, equipment and techniques; and highlights the artistic and design influences of embroidery, through to its use by modern fashion designers.
Richly illustrated with 850 images (750 in colour) of clothes, accessories, cushions, bed linen, curtains, floor coverings and wall hangings, many of which have never been published before, the Encyclopedia is an essential resource for students and scholars of the subject.