Embroidery from Palestine: Disciplining the Past to Craft the Future

Embroidery from Palestine: Disciplining the Past to Craft the Future

In this conversation Omar will talk about his experiences working to document and understand certain techniques of embroidery and rural textile traditions from Palestine. He will focus on the techniques themselves, the people he has worked with, and some of the ideas he has developed along the way.

Omar Joseph Nasser-Khoury is a an anti-fashion designer from Palestine (http://www.omarivsioseph.com). He has recently co-authored the book Seventeen Embroidery Techniques from Palestine: an Instruction Manual (Sunbula, 2019, https://www.sunbula.org/) and worked on updating the Palestinian textile collection catalogue at the British Museum.

This conversation will be co-hosted by the series organizer, Dr Fahmida Suleman, Curator of Islamic Art & Culture, Royal Ontario Museum, and Dr Ruba Kana’an, Assistant Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto (UTM).

Knotted zigzag joining stitch on silk taffeta and indigo dyed cotton – detail from a village woman’s coat (jillayeh) from the upper Galilee in the north of Palestine, early 20th century. © OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury

This event is part of an eight-part monthly series entitled “Crafting Conversations: Discourses on the Craft Heritage of the Islamic World – Past, Present and Future,” an initiative of the Islamic Art and Material Culture Collaborative (IAMCC), Toronto, Canada.

The IAMCC is a new research network based in Toronto that brings together the capacities and resources of the University of Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Aga Khan Museum. Its aim is to foster innovative and interdisciplinary research on the diverse arts and material cultures of the Islamic world in its broadest sense.

For more information on the series and the IAMCC, please visit: https://islamicstudies.artsci.utoronto.ca/research-labs/islamic-art-and-material-culture-collective-iamcc/. This event will be held via Zoom. If you have any questions or want to be added to the IAMCC mailing list please email:


Embroidery research file explaining Gazan joining stitch and knotted plait joining stitch with bones. © OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury