Hamara Muslim Women´s Group create textiles

The first workshop session   

Ten women attended the workshop. Several of the group had brought examples of textile work they had done themselves:

  • sequined tapestry cloth to be used as a frontispiece on a kameez
  • velvet waistcoat decorated with silver beadwork
  • embroidered handkerchiefs made 30 years ago as part of a dowry
  • crocheted frontispiece with gold beads
  • crocheted collar like a Tudor ruff
  • knitted baby shawl with a crocheted salvage and a knitted scarf 
  • a quilt similar to ones made in Pakistan

Jane showed examples of different textile work, such as batik, silk painting, a wall hanging and cloth bags, and reminded the group of the story they had heard on their visit to Temple Newsam that had made an impression on them. It was the story of Isabella, a woman associated with Temple Newsam House who lived to be 97 years old and who had a large family of nine sons, and she lost all of them in her lifetime.  


Irna Qureshi, the project coordinator suggested that Isabella’s story could be an underlying theme for the wall hanging, perhaps through using nine motifs. The group were very interested in the idea, and it was agreed that there would be nine different flowers e.g.flowers like the Pakistani “Queen of the Night”, similar to Jasmine, or white and red roses. One woman said that she would particularly like to work with the image of a painted glass ewer (kooza) from the exhibition, that is used as a water vessel for doing ablutions before prayer.

The group chose flowers from patterns on the textiles in the photographs and drew sketches of them. Jane demonstrated silk painting, and four of the group did silk paintings of their sketches. One of the women said that it was the first time in her life she’d ever held a paintbrush or a pen.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries | 
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