This overgarment (thawb kurar) is a gift from Mr. Jaber Al Hajri from Qatar, an antique collector. He had contacted Dr. Reem on Instagram and decided to dedicate the thawb to the Zay initiative.
This sheer, sky blue, cotton voile overgarment (thawb kurar) is printed in repeated pink floral motifs outlined in white and black.
The machine stitched, Bahraini overgarment, is sewn in the
traditional T-shape with wide sleeve panels and gussets (bat), of the same fabric, connecting each upper sleeve panel to the lower one.
It is decorated, simply, with a 2 cm wide band of traditional kurar work in silver thread (zari), accentuating the neckline creating a central axis (bidhah) extending down to hemline in front, and framing the outer sleeve openings.
Kurar work requires a group of skilled handcrafters, two or three women, called (dawakhil), lead by a group leader called the (qattabah). The women sit opposite the leader, and each one takes a turn in organising the thread on her fingers and transferring it from one hand to another, for the thread to interlace. The result is a flat woven ribbon, that is then hand stitched directly onto the fabric of the overgarment (thawb), accentuating the sleeves, the neckline, and the central axis on the front of the gown.
Such a garment is customarily worn over underpants (sirwal) and a tunic dress (dara’ah), at home or for special events and social gatherings.