Yemeni folkloric clothes, disappearing [Archives:2003/696/Culture]

December 22 2003

Yemeni industry of folkloric clothes and fashion are fading away gradually from the market and imported fashions are slowly taking their place. Yemen has a variety of designs for its traditional clothes based on the region, its weather patterns, and agricultural products used in clothes industry. Studies conducted by professionals in the field, centers tasked with preservation of heritage, and westerners who worked in Yemen, define garments based on regions.
The escarpment inhabitants, for instance, use clothing characterized by fine workmanship in the material. A typical garment covers the body completely, with an opening on the chest that may be buttoned up, long and widely open-ended sleeves sometimes reaching below the knee. Grooms often use this type of garment. In the same regions, a part of the garment is a headgear, which differs from males to females. Men use a hat and wind a wool piece of cloth to represent a turban, and women a silk scarf, and a piece of semi-transparent black cloth to cover the face. These clothes are characterized by a high degree of artistic embroidery, a famous Yemen traditional handicraft. Coastal regions, on the other hand, use clothing that is largely made of cotton be in harmony with hot weather with some parts of the body may be exposed. Whether in mountainous or coastal regions, Yemeni traditional dresses have a great deal of yarn or metal embroidery with varying densities relative to the region. Traditional garments are still in use in weddings, holiday seasons, and even death, and fabric industry and handicraft have been associated with superstition in some regions. Traditional garments are also essential components of tourist attraction schemes where tourists take them back home to display Yemeni art. Today, these beautiful garments are slowly fading away as a result of abandoning handicraft professionals due to lack of support. The decrease of demand in the local market, lack of proper promotion campaigns, and non-participation in regional and international exhibitions are some of the deterioration factors.