Damascus, SANA_ The Damascene craftsmen from the time of the Phoenicians till nowadays, have created the most beautiful embroideries, as the white and wool cloth embroidered with gold and silver threads was very famous in Damascus city more than 500 years ago. This kind of craft is called al-Aghabani (Embroidery).
Hisham al-Noqtah, one of the ancient professionals in the craft of Al-Aghabani and one of the few who still have a workshop to manufacture it and display it in the shops of Medhat Pasha Market, told SANA that Al-Aghbani is a pure handcraft made of natural silk, gold and reed threads and embroidered by needle with embossed embroideries; this distinguishes Al-Aghbani from other Damascene fabrics, such as brocade and silk.
Al-Aghbani is also distinguished by its seven colors and the names of its drawings, where each embroidered stitch has a special name such as ” Saqf al- Qa’a”, ” Daqqat al-Lira”, “Al-Sultan”, “ad-Dama” “al-Lawza”and “Lam Alef'” drawing.
“Lam Alef” drawing was embroidered on the turbans which were worn by the dignitaries and scholars of Damascus.
Every piece of Aghabani needs about a month to be completed, so the Damascene families had to wait a long time to complete the bedspreads and clothes, according to al-Noqta.
He said he inherited this craft from his grandparents. He designs drawings and engravings on cloth that is either silk or cotton, then begins the stage of printing the drawings on wood briquettes. This is carried out by specialized workers, then the washing and ironing stage are carried out by a manual machine, thus the piece becomes ready for use.
Al-Noqta pointed out that most of Al-Aghabani products are exported to European countries where the Europeans boast in offering them as presents as a distinguished handmade Damascene industry.
Al-Aghabani fabric was originally made out of natural silk which was abundant in Syria at a certain time. Nowadays, high quality Syrian cotton is more often used to make this beautiful fabric. al-Aghabani is mostly used for table linens and certain clothing items.