The Arabic embroidery is a particular kind of embroidery which has existed for hundreds of years ago. Its designs represent the earlier ideologies even before religions had actually existed or developed.
In the Arabic embroidery, each character symbolizes a certain theme. For instance, the ear of corn symbolizes fertility while the goddess is expressed by the image of a moon. Even the colors have roles in defining the meaning of the embroidery. The primary colors are red, black and white. They symbolize the three phases of the goddess. The purity and fight against evil is signified by the while colors, where the red reflects the second phase of the life of the goddess as a mature woman enjoying love and fertility. Black, on the other hand, represents the goddess, who is old and wise, the oracle. This is why you will find most Arab dresses to be embroidered using these three main colors. Because each of these colors has a different and distinctive meaning and was believed, long time back, to have interacted with body parts, making the person wearing them healthy.
The Arabic embroidery was influenced by many factors, the most important of which is the spread of Islam. Since Islam has spread in the region, embroidery started to be influenced by Islamic writings. Most patterns had geometric designs, floral designs or calligraphy. And as the Quran teachings forbid the figures of animals or humans, the embroidery is centered on writing letters in an Arabic Islamic form. The images of animals or human beings were not to be used at all since the spread of Islam. Although some may argue that this could be a limit to creativity, it had in fact pushed people to be more creative and innovative with the resources they have in hand.
The Ottoman period was one of the richest periods in terms of fashion and embroidery. It blended the Arabic patterns with the Turkish ones. Several items of clothes available to date reflect the creativity and the very fine detail of the decorative details used at that time. The embroidery, the color, the fabric, the patterns…everything used blended homogeneously together reflecting a rich form of art. Female clothes were richer in terms of patterns and embroidery used as there was more room for creativity and originality.