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Stitch Like An Egyptian

25th Anniversary Spotlight

Road to California 2020 will be Road to California’s 25th Anniversary Show. In addition to providing guests access to exceptional classes and vendors, Road has planned several very special attractions during this very special show.

Tentmakers of Egypt

Road is bringing back the popular Tentmakers of Egypt. They first came to Road in 2015, demonstrating their exquisite applique work.

Stitch Like An Egyptian

In 2018, they returned and not only demonstrated their work in their Special Exhibit but shared their expertise with students in classes taught by Jenny Bowker.

Stitch Like An Egyptian

For Road’s 25th Anniversary Show, two new tentmakers to Road, Ekramy Hanafy & Ahmed Kamal, will be at the show. They plan on being available in two of Jenny Bowker’s 2020 classes, Egyptian Applique, taught on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, January 20th, 21st and 22nd. They will be available to assist students as they tackle how to Stitch Like An Egyptian during their once in a lifetime experience learning this age-old hand stitching art. During the show, they will again be stationed at the front of the Exhibition Hall, giving live demonstrations and selling applique work that they brought with them from Egypt.

Stitch Like An Egyptian

What is Egyptian Tentmaking?

The art of Egyptian tent making is an ancient, intricate craft. Centuries ago, Tentmakers of Cairo went to the Keswa of Mecca to make tents out of big pieces of fabric. Named, Tark, these tents were used to decorate weddings and funerals as their traditional colors easily adapted for both occasions. 

Today, this generational craft is found in Old Islamic Cairo. Citizens from childhood to adults are still involved in learning and studying tent making from family members and in specially designed schools as a means of preserving this ancient art. In recent years, tent making has been facing struggles, as machines try to replace hand-made items and unscrupulous businesses copy and sell their unique designs. By having Ekramy and Ahmed at Road, attention is given to this beautiful yet shrinking art of the few remaining tentmakers who continue to practice their trade.

Road and Stitch Like An Egyptian

How did Road’s association with the Tentmakers of Cairo first come about? Jenny Bowker first introduced the tentmakers to the world in 2007. She helped them sign a contract with the American Quilters Society in 2012 where the original tentmakers, Hosam AL Farouk and Tarek Al Safety, made 16 trips to the United States, including the two visits at Road to California.

Stitch Like An Egyptian

At Road 2020, Ekramy Hanafy & Ahmed Kamal, are looking forward to sharing many different designs of their traditional technique as well as meeting their “amazing Fans” as they demonstrate their skills and share their history and experience with everyone. It their hope that Road’s guests will be Stitching Like an Egyptian in no time!!!       

2 Responses to “Stitch Like An Egyptian”

  1. Rosemary says:

    I am so glad these tentmakers are returning! They are fascinating to watch. I agree that it is so important to keep this art alive!

    Thank you for having them back.

  2. Diane S. Deemer says:

    I bought a 3 ft square piece at the Lancaster, PA show in 2015. I love it! Those who see it say, “Ooohhh” and “Aaahhh!”! Stitchers insist on having it off the wall to study it!

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