Saturday, November 3, 2012

Moroccan Caftan Embroidery

Here is another 12-for-2012!

This is a gift for my mum, it's just waiting for a frame. The design is from a line-art drawing from Islamic Designs by Diane Victoria Horn. It's a ceremonial caftan and belt from 19th century Rabat.

Since it started as just a line drawing, I decided to make it into a sort of sampler, trying all kinds of stitches that I'd never done before. It's worked on a poly blend "silk shantung", backed with muslin. Worked in chain, stem, straight, buttonhole, fern, bullion, and satin stitches. Here are some pictures of the process.

The original design, traced using water-soluable ink:

There are babouches, or slipper-type shoes, in the original design. I tried to include them but they just never looked quite right.

I basted muslin around the edges to fit the piece nicely into a hoop. Here it is in the beginning, in summer!

I wanted to try a blackwork design for the belt, so I first drew in a grid to use as a guideline:

And here are some detail shots of the final piece:

A few new stitches under my belt! Success!


  1. This is so pretty - I love those curved buttonhole/shells. And the blackwork for the belt turned out really beautifully.

  2. Thank you so much! Even as long as it took, I'm happy I learned those new stitches. :)

  3. Wow! I love the close up photos of your work! So beautiful!