This vibrant green jacket was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli in 2017 from a dealer in London to add to The Zay Initiative collection.
This is a beautiful bottle green silk jacket in (satin) weave with (satin_stitch) embroidered embellishments in a range of colours.
The piece is a typical Western style women’s jacket; however, the fabric is of Far Eastern origin. From its design distribution, it could have been either a panel made for the European market which was then constructed into a women’s jacket or a (kimono) that was repurposed. Either way, the scrumptious piece is heavily embellished that depicts large idyllic scenery with cranes and bamboo trees alongside blooms like peonies and water lilies.
The embellishment is executed in satin_stitch embroidery primarily in ivory, light green, brown, shades of beige and pink, lavender, and grey silk floss threads. The piece is completely unlined and has a large folded or rolled collar with long loose bell-shaped sleeves.
While the origin of certain techniques and methods in textiles like satin_stitch embroidery can be traced to China, and its spread across the world could be attributed to the Silk Road, other similar techniques and styles are believed to have originated independently in different regions of the world almost simultaneously in human history possibly from necessity and convenience.
Though The Zay Initiative is concerned mainly with the dress and adornment heritage of the Arab world, it does include in its collection articles from areas outside the region. These tend to be collected to illustrate specific shared elements and influences attesting that the Arab world never existed in a vacuum. It constantly drew, and continues to draw, inspiration and influences from the cultures it comes in contact with be it through trade or geopolitical circumstances, especially those countries within the old silk route.
Therefore, one cannot but draw parallels between many techniques used in such garments, such as (couching) and thread knotting techniques (macrame), or flat metal adornment (talli), that are quite similar to those found in different parts of the Arab region.
The kimono, in particular, displays similarities that can be drawn with the pattern of Arab women’s overgarment or the (thawb), common to the Gulf region, constructed of three uncut panels of broad clothes forming the central body panel and the side sleeve panels very similar in shape to the kimono.