Some of the examples from the late 19th cent. were quite simple. You will notice that the arrangement of the embroidery was already the same.
In many villages more elaborate versions were developed, each village having its preferred colors and motifs [although some shade of red was almost always the dominant color], although European copybook motifs were readily adopted and added to the repetoire. Here is one example from the Ramallah region which is in the British Museum.
Here is a closeup of the bib from another piece.
Here is the general cut of the thobe. This basic cut was used by Arabs for both men's and women's robes over quite a large area, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
More side panels were added when extra fullness was desired. One word of warning, the bottom edge of the side panels did not end on the same line as shown here, but rather each long side was of the same length, the hem curving up if laid flat. Otherwise the sides would end up being longer and dragging on the ground. Another variant of the cut was used if the cloth was narrow, as would have been the case for home woven materials.
The four most important locations for embroidery are shown above:
1. Qabba - bib or breastpiece,
usually embroidered as a separate piece for convenience.
2. Dhayal - bottom back of the central field.
Note that there is no shoulder seam, as is the case for many traditional garments.
3. Banayiq - side panels.
The embroidery was done vertically, following the seams.
4. Irdan - sleeves.
The sleeves were originally very wide, but became narrow around the mid 20th cent. as this style of embroidery spread from the villages.
Note that these are the exact areas which are embroidered on Jean's thobe, along with the cuffs and hem.
This photo was taken in Ramallah in 1987.
Some more contemporary examples of this costume as worn today.
The following pieces are all Bedouin. These are the closest in motif and color to Jean's thobe.
Blue embroidery is used by girls and menopausal women. Upon marriage a woman is allowed to embroider her clothes in red. This dress was partly embroidered before marriage.
for the six photos from the blog post "New acquisition - Sinai Desert thob c1960s" 28 Dec 2012:
Bedu thob - Sinai Desert, Egypt
c. late 1960s-1970s
Palestine Costume Archive collectionhttp://palestinecostumearchive.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/new-acquisition-sinai-bedu-thob-c1960s_28.html
Palestine Costume Archive collection
in the Palestine Costume Archive's collection
from the Archive's traveling exhibition
"Portraits without names: Palestinian costume"
I would like to sincerely thank the good people at the website and blog 'Palestinian costume archive' for their gracious permission to use their images and material to enrich this article, and, I hope, for more articles on this subject to come. Please visit their website:
Widad Kamel Kawar and Tania Tamari Nasir, 'Stickerei aus Palaestina', Munich, 1989
Shelagh Weir, 'Palestinian Costume', Austin, 1989
Jehan Rajab, 'Palestinian Costume', London, 1989
Abed Al-Samih Abu Omar, 'Traditional Palestinian Embroidery and Jewelry', Jerusalem, 1986