Siwa Creations

Siwan embroidery used for Italian haute couture. Siwan embroidery used for Italian haute couture.

Siwa Creations is an Egyptian company, founded by Laila Neamatallah, working with hand embroiderers in the Siwa oasis, Egypt. Siwa Creations was set up in 2001 with the aim of helping Siwan women and girls develop and sell their embroideries.

It was started with five elderly Siwan women, who trained a further fifty women and girls in the traditional techniques associated with Siwan embroidery. Apparently by 2010 over 300 women and girls had been trained in the Siwan Creations ateliers.

From 2003 onwards the range of colours associated with Siwa embroidery in general had increased. This change would appear to be the direct result of contacts with commercial groups, such as that of Siwa Creations, and the demands of the international fashion industry:

"Traditionally Siwa women use only five basic colours: red, green, black, orange and yellow, which remind them of the dates and olives Siwa has been famous for throughout history. I brought in new colours. We dye our yarn and create our own colours. I follow fashion trends very closely so we are able to create a highly fashionable hand-made product inspired by Siwan traditional embroidery." (Laila Neamatallah, Arab News, 6th July 2006)

Siwa Creations also works with the Italian fashion house of Ermanno Scervino, producing textiles, clothing and related fashion accessories. There has been criticism of this company for changing traditional Siwa forms into styles that are acceptable for a Western oriented fashion industry, but no longer reply to local needs and styles. On the other hand, many of the embroiderers are now providing an essential source of income to their families by adapting to the modern needs.

Digital source (retrieved 17 April 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 9 July 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 17 April 2017 12:46
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