Rashq Embroidery (Egypt)

Example of Rashq embroidery, Egypt, late 20th century. Example of Rashq embroidery, Egypt, late 20th century. Courtesy Textile Research Centre, Leiden, acc. no. TRC 2013.0444.

Rashq embroidery is the general name for a form of embroidery from the Delta of Egypt. It originated in a dense form of passementerie used in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Egypt for Bedouin men’s waistcoats. Rashq embroideries are made using a sewing machine with one needle and two separate threads.

Rashq embroidery is characterized by using a running stitch, but with a thicker thread for the surface of the cloth and a finer thread in the shuttle underneath. The tension of the finer sewing thread is deliberately increased, so the thicker thread is pulled downwards and is clearly visible on the underside surface of the cloth. This gives the effect of underside couching. Women, usually at home, produce this type of work. The patterns associated with Rashq work include stylized floral forms. Often such panels are applied to women’s garments.

See also the TRC Needles entry on the Al Arish needlework project.

Source: MENHEZ, Shahira and Gillian VOGELSANG-EASTWOOD (2016), 'Egyptian Embroidery,' in: Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (ed.), Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World, London: Bloomsbury Publications, pp. 264-293, esp. p. 267.

TRC online catalogue (retrieved 13th May 2017).


Last modified on Saturday, 13 May 2017 09:41