This veil was owned by Sajidah Nuri El Mutwalli, paternal aunt to Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, who gifted it to her niece who in turn donated it to The Zay Initiative collection in memory of her aunt.
Sajidah Nuri El Mutwalli was born in Al- Adamiyah neighbourhood in Baghdad, Iraq in 1924. The eldest daughter to her parents. Her father, Nuri Abdul Aziz El Mutwalli, was the last appointed caretaker to The Sunni shrine of Imam Abu Hanifa in Iraq.
She married her cousin, Kamal Abdul Latif Hamid, at the age of 16 and had four children, two daughters, and two sons. She completed her studies and graduated with a degree in home economics and worked as a teacher. Later on, she moved to Abu Dhabi in the nineties and passed away there on May 26, 2007.
This long veil (shal) or (tarhah) is made of white cotton metal adorned net-fabric (tur_bi_talli), adorned with silver straw (talli) or (khus) that lends to the weightiness of the article as a whole.
The talli work covers the full veil. Both outer edges are adorned in a wide border of fourteen repeated palm leaf (jaridah) motifs. While the selvedge edges are adorned with a repeated chevron pattern known as key (muftah) motif.
The central portion of the shawl is comprised of three very large lozenge shapes. The central lozenge is composed of alternating square (irba‘) or (muraba‘at) and drum (tablah) motifs. While the two remaining lozenges flanking it are composed of square (irba‘) or (muraba‘at) motif. In addition, there are four smaller lozenges composed of repeated triangular, or pyramid shapes known as sieve (sir_al_ghirbal) motifs. The remaining space is covered by a much smaller star (nujum) motif.
The talli work requires a needle 1/8 inch wide. The 3 mm wide talli straw is inserted into the holes in the cotton or linen fabric, longitudinally, horizontally, or diagonally to form various geometric shapes. Each time the straw is inserted into the fabric, it is pressed with the tip of the finger to flatten it and after finishing decorating the fabric, it is hammered with a special tool, or a hard ball is rolled over it.