This overgarment (thawb bu_chabat/bu_bchat), also known as (thawb bu_ghwani), is part of two-piece ensemble, worn with a matching tunic dress (kandurah mzarai talli naklas) ZI2000.50011a UAE.
A special occasion overgarment (thawb) worn over a tunic dress (kandurah). Shaikha bin Ali Al Za’abi first wore this during her own wedding week, and then started lending it to brides for their henna (hinnah) ceremonies (laylat_al_hinnah). This illustrates that in the late 1990s, UAE brides did not follow the current custom of wearing green for their henna night (laylat_al_hinnah), as this is an acquired custom from neighbouring Bahrain and other Gulf states. Ladies loaned dresses like these to help other members of the community as a form of charitable (sadaqah) social and tribal bonding.
The garment was acquired by the Zay Initiative as a result of a custom known as (daf‘at_bala), where the proceeds from the sale of the item are given as sadaqah to help ward off the evil eye or misfortune.
The gold brocaded (khus) or (zari) wafer-thin black silk chiffon (safwah) is of high quality. The motif depicted is an excellent example of the fabric most commonly known as (bu_bchat).
The neckline (bidhah) is adorned with monocoloured (talli) work of white cotton (hdub) thread, silver as well as gold metallic ribbon (khus). Using a running stitch, and continuously looping metallic ribbon with cotton thread a twisted strand is created in a style known as (talli_fatlah). This strand (fatlah) is then applied by hand to the garment creating various looped, straight, semi-circular, and circular lines.
With time, as in this example, the neckline (halj) opening became wider to allow more of the decorative work on the neckline of the kandurah underneath to be visible. This in turn pushed the decorative heavy adornment work outwards, spilling over the shoulders and flowing down the upper sleeves. The length and width of the adorned central axis (bidhah) also became more exaggerated and elaborate over time.
Such heavy adornment applied on delicate sheer fabric, stiffened and pulled the whole overgarment (thawb) towards the front. To fix it in place, safety pins were used inside the garment at the shoulder points, to attach it to the tunic dress (kandurah) underneath. In time, this too evolved into metallic snaps (siq_w_biq) and eventually to transparent plastic ones.
Two organza silk, lozenge-shaped, plain gold, gussets (bat) are naively added to the lower portion of the wide full-length sleeves to help the garment drape better.