Damascus Velvet Closeup

Syria traditional clothing dresses folk Damascus Weiss-Armush


A dress of Japanese velvet that was made to order from a Damascus embroidery producer. Traditional machine embroidery designs were adapted on a classic caftan pattern and were produced free-hand, without use of any pattern.

Arabesque designs seen on this dress include a modern version of the traditional cyprus pattern, turned upside down.

As commercially produced garments were limited in availability until quite recently, women enjoyed shopping for fabrics and designing their own clothing. Some sewed at home, while others used seamstresses. Machine embroidery could be added, either before stitching the garment, or as overlays to sewn seams, necklines, and cuffs.