Chefchaouen Embroidered Panel (Arid)

Chechaouen embroideries are the rarest, most sought after of Moroccan urban embroideries. Chechaouen is a small town in northern Morocco that was established in the early 16th century. Like Tetouan and Fez, it took in many Andalusian refugees, both Muslim and Jewish, and therefore, its embroideries were greatly influenced by 15th century Hispano-Moresque textiles in both technique and design.

Chechaouen embroideries are typically in Arid form and are used as wall hangings, bed frontals and furniture covers during festivities and ceremonial occasions. They are relatively large and have two vertical long and narrow embroidered sections divided by a large mostly empty field. The design is organized into square panels, medallions, and cartouches.  Within these shapes, there are further geometrics as well as abstracted floral elements. As these Arids were passed from generation to generation, the custom was to cut them and divide between the heirs. It is rare indeed to find a complete uncut panel such as this one.

This Arid differs from typical ones by the stitching technique. It has a looped or curly texture which is created by both the stitch  employed- a looped double running stitch- and by the use of thick, unspun silk floss.

 

 

Circa: Late 18th- early 19th century

Origin: Chechaouen, Morocco

Material: Silk on linen

Condition: excellent

Dimensions: 78" X 93"

Inventory number: TX4852

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