Artist and researcher Hrazdan Tokmadzhyan has long studied Armenian women’s embroidery in Marash, Urfa, and Ayntap.
“The embroidered works of Ayntap, Urfa, and Marash show that Armenian culture is a single whole,” he said.
The survivors of the Armenian Genocide, among them women from Marash, Ayntap, and Urfa, managed to reach Aleppo and bring along their works. The Armenians in Aleppo had strong ties with their traditions and became very interested in their craft.
There are two types of embroidery in Marash – one has a smooth straight texture, while the other has a kind of texture called secret, atlaslam, or irga in the folk language. The smooth texture is found in many areas, whereas the secret texture is exclusive to Marash.
Looking at the works of Urfa, we see that floral patterns and laces are dominant. Simple and intricate embroidery patterns reflect the spirit of medieval painting. There are motives of eastern and western art as well.
In Ayntap, we usually see an octagonal star in embroideries – this star is the Sign of the Blessed. According to an article by Daniel Varuzhan in “Navasard”, one of the coins of Tigran the Great had octagon stars embroidered on a crown.