Thursday, 7 May 2015

Assuit Fashion

Metal thread embroidery is an ancient form of ornamentation. Originating in the Middle East, India, China and Japan, there are biblical references to its use with the linen cloth of Egypt. As soon as the western world became aware of this type of ornamentation in 1920, it became a fashionable item.

This form of embroidery, also known as assuit, usually comes in shawls and was all handmade by tribal women. It is made using a flat embroidery needle, inserting narrow silver and sometimes gold coloured metallic strips and hand crimping them, like a staple, into a cotton or linen mesh ground.

The designs were usually focussed into two groups, Geometric and Figural. Geometric Assuit has filled in diamonds or triangle forms and is sometimes covered solid.

Figural Assuit may have rows of trees or corn like plants with full skirted women or camels with riders.

Pricing has increased in more recent years, though it has started being remade and is making a comeback, however the quality of tribal assuit will never be accomplished in modern pieces.

Leslie of Arabella Bianco, located in Vintage Modes has a beautiful genuine Art Deco Egyptian assuit shawl displayed for sale. Its golden colour and geometric patten make this piece marvellous and irresistible. For more information email:

Geometric pattern assuit shawl by Arabella Bianco

A close up of the beautiful geometric pattern

All items posted are for sale. If you have any queries please leave a comment or visit us at Grays in Mayfair, London Alternatively you can call us on 020 7409 0400 or email

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