Sunday 1 February 2015

Two fine antique Syrian silk textile garments from Aleppo

An abaya or abba street dress and a head dress from Aleppo in Syria

The first textile is a late 19th or early 20th century hand woven silk 'abaya' street dress from Aleppo, Syria in a particularly rare light chestnut golden silk (200cm x 186cm). Sometime referred to as an 'abba' street dress, the term abaya is closer to the original Arabic. 'The Modern Traveler' of 1825 refers to Syrian traditional dress of the time and states '...abba the name reserved for the striped robe.'

The second silk garment a very fine Aleppo shawl head dress from the 1920s or 20s woven from silk, linen, gold and silver thread. The last photo shows how the head dress would have been worn. Both these textile garments display design characteristics and fine silk weaving associated with Aleppo and both are also representatives of a tradition that has, sadly, almost disappeared.  

To see more photos of these textiles, please see or