Hama: Textile Dyers

Date: c. 1900-1990

Arabic: assabbāj
By the 1980s very few dyeing workshops were still in operation. Only garments which were already sewn were dyed, including pants worn by peasants (sirwal), veils (shambar), dresses (taub’bla). Natural dyes were seldom used, with cheaper and more efficient aniline dyes preferred. The types of coloured dye processes which could be found in c. 1990 included lime resist-dyeing, ikat, plangi, and screen and stencil printing. In the remaining dye workshops of Hama, older men practised the craft of indigo dyeing, which was unusual. See also: Cotton Weaver; Silk Weaver; Tanner.

Citation: Zerrnickel, Maria, “Making Arab Clothes”, in Kalter, Johannes, Margareta Pavaloi, and Maria Zerrnickel, eds. The Arts and Crafts of Syria: Collection Antoine Touma and Linden-Museum Stuttgart (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992), p. 194.