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Introduction to Palestinian Thobe Embroidery: Chest Design

Afternoon Studio Arts Workshop

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1V00PH
Select Your Tickets
$55 - Member
$65 - Non-Member

Materials for this program

  1. Supply List

By Wafa Ghnaim

For generations, Palestinian women have gathered with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Guided by Wafa Ghnaim, who began her training in embroidery with her mother at age 2, learn the history of the traditional Palestinian thobe, as well as the basic cross-stitch on waste canvas.

A traditional Palestinian thobe’s intricate chest design features a unique collage of motifs, which communicate the central theme of the entire garment’s embroidery. The embroiderer lets onlookers know through the chest design if she will be sharing an educational lesson about snakes, a sentimental story using floral motifs, or documenting her personal story. In addition, waste canvas allows you to adorn any piece of cloth or clothing and is an important skill to master if you aspire to create traditional Palestinian embroidered garments.

Open to students of all skill levels, the class offers detailed instruction on how to complete a small chest design segment using the iconic Ramallah arch pattern on waste canvas, and how to personalize it, as well as the pattern’s meaning and history.

This class will be recorded.  Please see our FAQ for recording terms and conditions.

Other Information

  • The instructor is Wafa Ghnaim.
  • One 2-hour session
  • This studio arts program is a Zoom Meeting to allow for patron and instructor interaction.

Additional Palestinian Thobe Embroidery programs are also available:

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.