Khayamiyas are elaborately patterned and colourful appliqués, traditionally applied to the interior of tents, serving a dual function of shelter and ornament. They resemble quilts, and possess the three layers typical of quilts – a heavy ‘back’, a background ‘top’, and elaborate applique over the ‘top’. This back is intended to be protective and durable against a hot, dry, and dusty climate. The hand-stitching is performed quickly by skilled tentmakers while seated cross-legged, using needles and thread. Small pieces of fabric are cut to size as they are required using large scissors. Khayamiya are usually completed by a single tentmaker regardless of the size of the piece. These can range from basic cushion covers to intricate whole-wall hangings several metres across. Large projects can subsequently take several months to complete. The tentmakers are very protective of their creative innovations, as successful new designs are often copied by their competitive neighbours.
Large Khayamiya cushion cover
87 x 87 cms. 100% Egyptian cotton. Handmade in Cairo. Front: appliqué. Back: rough single colour cotton.
1 in stock
SKU: May19-05 Category: Textiles