April 20, 2022
Sima's Designs: Traditional Palestinian Embroidery Inspired
We are proud to feature a post on one of our star artisans, designer Sima Mizirawi. Bint Ramallah, a daughter of Ramallah, Sima began her education in tatreez by watching her aunt who was an expert and ran a cooperative for embroidery to support women in her community. Sima observed her aunt closely, who taught her each stitch one time before Sima practiced and eventually mastered traditional embroidery.
Today, Sima continues to embroider but her main passion has become design. She studies historic stitches and plays with combinations and vibrant color combinations in ways that surprise. One of my favorite pieces decorating her home is this colorful top with cypress stitching and coins.
Sima's bag designs, in particular, are simply stunning. See for yourself by checking out her full collection. I was especially impressed by her masterpiece, hung on the wall, of her Ramallah home and featuring 96 different stitches that are unique to towns and cities around historic Palestine.
Some of the many different stitches Sima uses in her designs are inspired by Palestinian nature. For example, her Birds of Palestine laptop case is covered in beautiful, colorful birds like the native bulbul we find in our gardens year round.
One of my favorite pieces that always sells out is her "Nomad's Pine" laptop bag that features contrasting bright orange and blue embroidery against black leather. The main stitch is the seru or cypress which is a Ramallah stitch representing the common tree that is often used as a windbreaker at the edge of people's gardens. The seru is placed between another stitch that brings to mind the leaves on a stem of a blossoming flower or the weaving bougainvillea vine that decorates the cypress trees.
Even when a stitch isn't drawn from nature motifs, her designs are often named for the Palestinian nature that inspires her. For example, Autumn Wonder is a gorgeous bag in autumnal "changing of the trees" colors.
See Sima's Full Collection and Support Artisans in Palestine!