This article was purchased in one lot with two similar veils (ZI2018.500126.1 EGYPT) & (ZI2018.500126.2 EGYPT).
Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli spotted this veil at an antique dealer and acquired it for The Zay collection.
This long veil (shal) or (tarhah) is made of black cotton metal embellished 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 border of two rows of four triangle or pyramid motif composed of smaller pyramids, one repeated inside the other. While the selvedge edges are adorned with a repeated chevron line known as key (muftah) motif.
The centre of the shawl is adorned with a recurring geometric shape, lozenge. However, each row of lozenges looks different from the next, due to the different geometric formations in each row. Some lozenges consist of small alternating triangles and lozenge knowns as the border (kanarat) motif, some consist of a square spiral, some consist of smaller lozenges, one repeated inside the other, some consist of a lozenge motif, some aren’t filled with any shapes, and others consist of zigzag lines known as water (maiyah) 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.