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  1. We are very pleased to work in collaboration with the wonderful Sabbara. Sabbara are a small social enterprise who work with mothers who have had their lives torn apart and been displaced by the conflict in Syria. At The Fabled Thread, we firmly believe in the power of sewing for mind and soul, beyond just the piece you create. Nowhere is this more clearly shown than in the work Sabbara do.
  1. We are very pleased to work in collaboration with the wonderful Sabbara. Sabbara are a small social enterprise who work with mothers who have had their lives torn apart and been displaced by the conflict in Syria. At The Fabled Thread, we firmly believe in the power of sewing for mind and soul, beyond just the piece you create. Nowhere is this more clearly shown than in the work Sabbara do.

"Doing embroidery reminds me of my house and my home and my country. It reminds me of my grandmother and my mother, of my best memories and moments in my life"

Um Qassim, Syrian refugee and embroidery master craftswoman

"Doing embroidery reminds me of my house and my home and my country. It reminds me of my grandmother and my mother, of my best memories and moments in my life"

Um Qassim, Syrian refugee and embroidery master craftswoman

  1. At the start of the summer, I sent across a parcel of kits to Lebanon to be stitched by the women of Sabbara. On Saturday 11th December at 10am GMT these works of art will go on sale. Each piece is one of our The Fables designs and will be sold in our own hand-painted decorative frames.
  2.  
  3. At the bottom of the page you will see where you can purchase the pieces. Each piece will cost £450 + VAT (£540 total amount), which is split as follows:
  4.  

£100 is retained by The Fabled Thread which goes towards covering the cost of the materials, time for finishing and mounting pieces, painting the frames and packing, listing and posting the pieces

£90 is paid in VAT on each item to HMRC

£350 is donated to Sabbara to enable them to continue their work to (1) provide a community and safe space for women to work, (2) to enable women to achieve economic independence and freedom through a work environment where they are treated with dignity and respect and (3) to support mothers who have been displaced by war and been through the worst circumstances imaginable.

Read on below to hear the stories of the amazing and resilient women behind each of the pieces for sale, and find out exactly how your donation will help.

  1. At the start of the summer, I sent across a parcel of kits to Lebanon to be stitched by the women of Sabbara. On Saturday 11th December at 10am GMT these works of art will go on sale. Each piece is one of our The Fables designs and will be sold in our own hand-painted decorative frames.
  2.  
  3. At the bottom of the page you will see where you can purchase the pieces. Each piece will cost £450 + VAT (£540 total amount), which is split as follows:
  4.  

£100 is retained by The Fabled Thread which goes towards covering the cost of the materials, time for finishing and mounting pieces, painting the frames and packing, listing and posting the pieces

£90 is paid in VAT on each item to HMRC

£350 is donated to Sabbara to enable them to continue their work to (1) provide a community and safe space for women to work, (2) to enable women to achieve economic independence and freedom through a work environment where they are treated with dignity and respect and (3) to support mothers who have been displaced by war and been through the worst circumstances imaginable.

Read on below to hear the stories of the amazing and resilient women behind each of the pieces for sale, and find out exactly how your donation will help.

The Lion in Love, and the Elephant and the Rat, by Ibtisam Um Nour

 

The Lion in Love, and the Elephant and the Rat, by Ibtisam Um Nour

 

“All the stitches that we have used for Sabbara and for these pieces we were using back in Syria; the cross-stitch, the chain-stitch.

I used to embroider things for my house; bed covers, cushion covers, but even when I bought readymade clothes from the market I would add embroidery to them. My mother-in-law was actually a professional embroiderer. She used to do hand embroidery and machine embroidery.

In Idlib, my home town in Syria, we really care about the Jihaz al-Arous [the clothes, linen and belongings that a bride takes to her new house - like a trousseau]. All these things would be hand embroidered.

We left in such a panic that we didn’t take anything with us, and we didn’t think to take the beautiful embroidery that we had made.

When we found Sabbara and we started to work and be creative we found ourselves again.

Embroidery is in our blood. It doesn’t matter how sad we are, we love to do embroidery and we love to be strong, to be creative and do beautiful work.”

 

“All the stitches that we have used for Sabbara and for these pieces we were using back in Syria; the cross-stitch, the chain-stitch.

I used to embroider things for my house; bed covers, cushion covers, but even when I bought readymade clothes from the market I would add embroidery to them. My mother-in-law was actually a professional embroiderer. She used to do hand embroidery and machine embroidery.

In Idlib, my home town in Syria, we really care about the Jihaz al-Arous [the clothes, linen and belongings that a bride takes to her new house - like a trousseau]. All these things would be hand embroidered.

We left in such a panic that we didn’t take anything with us, and we didn’t think to take the beautiful embroidery that we had made.

When we found Sabbara and we started to work and be creative we found ourselves again.

Embroidery is in our blood. It doesn’t matter how sad we are, we love to do embroidery and we love to be strong, to be creative and do beautiful work.”

 

The Fox and the Crane, and the Tiger and the Woodman, by Fatima Um Mahmoud

 

The Fox and the Crane, and the Tiger and the Woodman, by Fatima Um Mahmoud

 

“I am Fatima Ali Amr, from Syria, from Idlib. The conditions of the war forced us to flee our country. Our house was destroyed, and my husband’s work too. There was nothing left for us; there was no income, no security, no life even.

We left our home, and moved around a lot staying here and there, but always the war would follow. In the end we came to Lebanon.

But the conditions here in Lebanon are almost as bad as they were in Syria, and now with the current crisis it’s even worse than before. We thought we might have to go back to Syria because we didn’t have any money, and life in Lebanon is so expensive, but now I am working we feel more hopeful. Now I can help my husband with the income.

I’ve been here for six years. We’re all living in one room, with four children. It's like a grave, it has no light. We’ve been living in a nightmare. But now I have found this work, I’m going to find a better flat.

The happy atmosphere at Sabbara makes us forget our pain and our suffering, but also changes the monotony of the life we live in.

 

I really love doing embroidery, I work it from my heart. I feel like my emotions are in each piece. Every emotion that we have - every joy, every homesickness, every nostalgia for our country, we put it into our work.

I pour my heart into each piece and I hope that the person who buys it can read that in it.

Embroidery reminds me of home. There is a certain stitch that my mum taught me when I was young. Where I’m from in Syria the bride has to provide the linen for her new home, so everyone makes the sheets and pillows and tablecloths and everything by hand. You will be highly regarded if you know how to embroider and make these beautiful things.

There is a huge difference between working and not working, mentally and financially. Now I am working I have some money to help my children. Now I can look for a different house, things will be so much better. We were in such a miserable situation with no money at all, but now I am feeling optimistic.”

“I am Fatima Ali Amr, from Syria, from Idlib. The conditions of the war forced us to flee our country. Our house was destroyed, and my husband’s work too. There was nothing left for us; there was no income, no security, no life even.

We left our home, and moved around a lot staying here and there, but always the war would follow. In the end we came to Lebanon.

But the conditions here in Lebanon are almost as bad as they were in Syria, and now with the current crisis it’s even worse than before. We thought we might have to go back to Syria because we didn’t have any money, and life in Lebanon is so expensive, but now I am working we feel more hopeful. Now I can help my husband with the income.

I’ve been here for six years. We’re all living in one room, with four children. It's like a grave, it has no light. We’ve been living in a nightmare. But now I have found this work, I’m going to find a better flat.

The happy atmosphere at Sabbara makes us forget our pain and our suffering, but also changes the monotony of the life we live in.

I really love doing embroidery, I work it from my heart. I feel like my emotions are in each piece. Every emotion that we have - every joy, every homesickness, every nostalgia for our country, we put it into our work.

I pour my heart into each piece and I hope that the person who buys it can read that in it.

Embroidery reminds me of home. There is a certain stitch that my mum taught me when I was young. Where I’m from in Syria the bride has to provide the linen for her new home, so everyone makes the sheets and pillows and tablecloths and everything by hand. You will be highly regarded if you know how to embroider and make these beautiful things.

There is a huge difference between working and not working, mentally and financially. Now I am working I have some money to help my children. Now I can look for a different house, things will be so much better. We were in such a miserable situation with no money at all, but now I am feeling optimistic.”

The Sun and the North Wind, and the Peacock and the Jay, by Fayrouz Um Qassim

 

The Sun and the North Wind, and the Peacock and the Jay, by Fayrouz Um Qassim

 

“I came to Lebanon in 2012, fleeing from the war and shells falling on the land. I came with my children, I have five boys and two girls, thank God. Three of the boys are grown up and married with families of their own, and one is engaged. Two boys and two boys are still studying. I lost one boy, God rest his soul, he was called Hani.

Since I started working with Sabbara my situation has improved a lot. I’ve been able to put my children into a proper school, and I’m so proud of them. And I am much better in myself, because I love this work.

In my region in the south of Syria it is really important for women to know how to embroider. My mother, God rest her soul, used to make cushions, and embroider hearts and flowers and inspiring words on them. She used to embroider clothes for my children. When my children were babies, I used to embroider their swaddling sheets.

Embroidery has a huge impact on my life. It connects me with my heritage, the beauty of our heritage and the beauty of our past.

 

 

For a long time we weren’t able to enjoy the craft that we loved, because of the war. We came here to Lebanon and in Sabbara we found a refuge where we can work and release the negative energy, and all the bad things that happened to us. Sabbara gave us an opportunity to be creative and practice the craft that we loved.”

“I came to Lebanon in 2012, fleeing from the war and shells falling on the land. I came with my children, I have five boys and two girls, thank God. Three of the boys are grown up and married with families of their own, and one is engaged. Two boys and two boys are still studying. I lost one boy, God rest his soul, he was called Hani.

Since I started working with Sabbara my situation has improved a lot. I’ve been able to put my children into a proper school, and I’m so proud of them. And I am much better in myself, because I love this work.

In my region in the south of Syria it is really important for women to know how to embroider. My mother, God rest her soul, used to make cushions, and embroider hearts and flowers and inspiring words on them. She used to embroider clothes for my children. When my children were babies, I used to embroider their swaddling sheets.

Embroidery has a huge impact on my life. It connects me with my heritage, the beauty of our heritage and the beauty of our past.

For a long time we weren’t able to enjoy the craft that we loved, because of the war. We came here to Lebanon and in Sabbara we found a refuge where we can work and release the negative energy, and all the bad things that happened to us. Sabbara gave us an opportunity to be creative and practice the craft that we loved.”

The Snake and the Farmer, and The Fisherman,

by Manal

 

The Snake and the Farmer, and The Fisherman, by Manal

 

“I am Manal from Idlib, Syria, I’m married with four children. We were forced to leave because of the war and destruction - we lost everything. Now we are working to provide for our children and give them a better life. We want them to study and feel secure.

I’ve been here in Lebanon for seven years, I’ve been working in embroidery since then, but Sabbara is the best work I’ve had.

Even though I worked with lots of other organisations, I finally found Sabbara which gave me a beautiful thing; it gave me hope. The positive energy in the workshop, I can’t even describe it. We’re not just happy because we are earning, we feel mentally happier because we support each other.

When I was given the piece with the fish and the boat to embroider, it felt like it was about us, the waves crashing around us.

It’s amazing that Sabbara gives us a salary and we pray the whole time for this to continue, because we really need it. Now we can pay the rent and buy the things we need.

I hope that whoever buys my pieces enjoys them, because I put my whole heart into them.”

“I am Manal from Idlib, Syria, I’m married with four children. We were forced to leave because of the war and destruction - we lost everything. Now we are working to provide for our children and give them a better life. We want them to study and feel secure.

I’ve been here in Lebanon for seven years, I’ve been working in embroidery since then, but Sabbara is the best work I’ve had.

Even though I worked with lots of other organisations, I finally found Sabbara which gave me a beautiful thing; it gave me hope. The positive energy in the workshop, I can’t even describe it. We’re not just happy because we are earning, we feel mentally happier because we support each other.

When I was given the piece with the fish and the boat to embroider, it felt like it was about us, the waves crashing around us.

It’s amazing that Sabbara gives us a salary and we pray the whole time for this to continue, because we really need it. Now we can pay the rent and buy the things we need.

I hope that whoever buys my pieces enjoys them, because I put my whole heart into them.”

The Horse and Rider by Aziza

 

The Horse and Rider by Aziza

 

“I am Aziza Mohammed from Syria, from the Aleppo countryside. I’ve been here in Lebanon for five years. My husband left Syria before me and then he couldn’t go back, so I came to join him here. I don’t have children; I can’t have children.

I always enjoy embroidery and it gives me huge happiness when I finish a piece. Especially these pieces, it felt like doing an artwork not just an embroidery, it felt like doing a painting! It gives you huge satisfaction to do something so beautiful.

In Syria, I used to watch my mother and grandmother doing embroidery. Now this work reminds me of them. At the start I found this work difficult, but now I find it easy and enjoyable. We always take care that our work looks beautiful.

Sabbara means a lot to me, it’s not just helping me financially but it gives me a community and I made friends, we always look forward to meeting and seeing each other. We tell each other our stories and empty our hearts to each other. This has helped us, really so much. We just pray all the time that this will continue. Sometimes when we don’t have enough work we feel like there is something lacking in our lives.

I don’t have any children and when I was at home on my own I was lonely; this work gives me meaning. All I thought about was the past and the bad things that happened to me. But when I am working I forget about all the tragedies we went through and everything that happened in Syria. I focus completely on the embroidery, the design and the colours, and it takes all my concentration.

And this work also helped me to stop thinking about the fact that I don’t have children. Now I can afford to go to a doctor and maybe have treatment. Medicine and seeing a doctor in Lebanon are very expensive, but I work also to help me feel better.

It’s very difficult in Lebanon and this is helping us financially. The situation is going from bad to worse. We can now afford the rent and food.”

“I am Aziza Mohammed from Syria, from the Aleppo countryside. I’ve been here in Lebanon for five years. My husband left Syria before me and then he couldn’t go back, so I came to join him here. I don’t have children; I can’t have children.

I always enjoy embroidery and it gives me huge happiness when I finish a piece. Especially these pieces, it felt like doing an artwork not just an embroidery, it felt like doing a painting! It gives you huge satisfaction to do something so beautiful.

In Syria, I used to watch my mother and grandmother doing embroidery. Now this work reminds me of them. At the start I found this work difficult, but now I find it easy and enjoyable. We always take care that our work looks beautiful.

Sabbara means a lot to me, it’s not just helping me financially but it gives me a community and I made friends, we always look forward to meeting and seeing each other. We tell each other our stories and empty our hearts to each other. This has helped us, really so much. We just pray all the time that this will continue. Sometimes when we don’t have enough work we feel like there is something lacking in our lives.

I don’t have any children and when I was at home on my own I was lonely; this work gives me meaning. All I thought about was the past and the bad things that happened to me. But when I am working I forget about all the tragedies we went through and everything that happened in Syria. I focus completely on the embroidery, the design and the colours, and it takes all my concentration.

And this work also helped me to stop thinking about the fact that I don’t have children. Now I can afford to go to a doctor and maybe have treatment. Medicine and seeing a doctor in Lebanon are very expensive, but I work also to help me feel better.

It’s very difficult in Lebanon and this is helping us financially. The situation is going from bad to worse. We can now afford the rent and food.”

The following pieces will be listed for sale at 10AM GMT on Saturday 11th December. We are only able to send these items within the UK to reduce the risk of art being lost in the post or damaged international shipping. Each piece will cost £540 and will be sent with a tracked next day delivery service on Tuesday 14th December in plenty of time for Christmas.

 

The following pieces will be listed for sale at 10AM GMT on Saturday 11th December. We are only able to send these items within the UK to reduce the risk of art being lost in the post or damaged international shipping. Each piece will cost £540 and will be sent with a tracked next day delivery service on Tuesday 14th December in plenty of time for Christmas.

 

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You can also support Sabbara and their work by purchasing our limited edition kit Kalila and Dimna. 100% of the profits from all purchases of this kit are donated to Sabbara.

 

You can also support Sabbara and their work by purchasing our limited edition kit Kalila and Dimna. 100% of the profits from all purchases of this kit are donated to Sabbara.

 

Coming soon