In general, all women have to wear Abaya on the top of
there clothes when they go outside. Abaya looks like a black long dress with
long sleaves. Saudi women have to cover their hair because of relegious reasons.
The traditional Abaya covers the body fro the top of the head until the ankles. The traditional color of Abaya is known to be black. However, nowdays, Abaya
became more fasionable and colorful.Some Abayas are embroidered with silver
threads, cristals, lace and many other materials. Some Abaya are made form the
jeans material, and some of them are totally made from the lace material and
lined with a silk material.
Many women cover their faces in front of foreign men and
this mainly due to traditions and customs. Women cover their faces with (Burga
or Niqab) which is a veil or mask that covers the face except the eyes.
Almost in each region in the Kingdom there is a special
custom. In the old days, Women used to wear these traditional dresses, but now,
not all women wear this kind of costumes everyday. Today's girls usually wear
the western clothes and wear the traditional dresses in some traditional
occasions like Ghomra( the night before the wedding night), or in Ramadan
occasions when they visit each other and have Iftar (breaking the fast)
This is an
antique Thawb (gown) (Left) which is made from a purple silk embroidered with
Qasab (golden threads). This kind of Thawb is found in Najd, which is the
central region of the Kingdom. It is worn by a married woman in important social
This dress (Right) is found in the hills of Abha region
which is located in the southern region of the Kingdom. It is made of a fabric
printed in floral patterns. When working on the land, the women of Abha used to
tie their hems around their waists to keep them clean. They also wear a
pantalets which is embroidered near the ankles to protect her against the
mountain chill. To protect her form the harsh
sun, Abha's woman wear a straw hat on the top of a colorful scarf.
This gown (left) is found in the
Sulaym tribe who lives near Al-Madinah.
It is an embroidered dress which has a quilted hem to protect against
(Right) The traditional costumes worn by the town's women
of the Hijaz (western Region) concentrates a great deal of attention on the embellishment
of the "Sidaireeya" (under blouse) and "Sirwal" (long pants) as these are
designed to be worn only with the sheer Thawb, also known as Kurtah. The
traditional headgear of Hijaz women is known as "Mihramah and Mudawwarah". It is
composed of three pieces : the triangular "Shambar", the rectangular "Mihramah"
and the square "Mudawwarah". On special occasions, elaborate diamond-studded
brooches are often set at every top of the "Mihramah and Mudawwarah".
Found in Al-Jahdaly tribe (Right) which lives between
Laith town , on the coast of the Red Sea, and Makkah. This
Thawb is made from a local dyed red muslin and imported brown muslin. the gown
is lined with rough fabrics salvaged from flour sacks.
This Thawb (Left) is worn by women of Hodhayl tribe in
the city of Taif. It is made form patterned muslin. Each pattern has its name
and its accompanying headdress.