With over ten new hijab patterns, the Baladi Capsule is hinged on the roots of ancient textile traditions embedded in the hidden gems of Aleppo, Syria with the desire to preserve its culture as a form of resistance. Each pattern carries a Levantine touch of art to instill perseverance for generations.
The Baladi Capsule developed “as a passion project into Syrian heritage” through various undercurrents aiming to support Syrian craftsmanship in hopes of preserving the rich history and art that lies in the shadows of war. The history of textiles in Syria is deeply interwoven with the history of trade, craftsmanship, and civilization throughout the Sham region. However, after many years of strife, the cultural erosion of Syria's textile industry is pushing these fabrics to the brink of extinction. The rich textile art of Aleppo, Syria is the root of the Baladi Capsule. Co-founder Marwa Atik stated, “The traditional Saya fabric is actually what inspired us to make this whole collection … and as children of the diaspora, it is our responsibility to keep our culture alive.” Such fabric is also a staple piece found in the whole Levant region with deep connections to Palestine.
There were many obstacles to source these fabrics, yet VELA managed to source them from the last artisans in Aleppo. Co-founder Tasneem Atik stated, “Marwa and I felt that it was so important for us to share these textiles with you in order to preserve the heritage and the rich history of these fabrics.” Saya fabric is a traditional textile that has been produced in Syria for centuries; however, getting access to Saya fabric was not an easy task. The fabric is handwoven and traditional looms with a strenuous weaving process involving intricate patterns and designs (Syrian Heritage Archives). The result is a fabric that is not only beautiful, but also durable and long-lasting.
Although these textiles and fabrics are a disappearing art form, they are only revived and preserved by those who wear them with the intention to embrace culture and the hopes to be a voice for those suffering in silence. Fabrics and designs are powerful ways to spark awareness and resist oppression for countries undergoing the impacts of war. The Kuffiyeh scarves are another prime example of raising awareness around the world for the Palestinian cause from those who simply wear a kuffiyeh scarf in public. Hence, textile art has the power to form awareness through preservation that many undermine. Aside from using your voice to spark awareness, don't undermine the power of impactful textile art through various patterns and textiles. The founders expressed that, “Saya fabric in general is used within the whole Levantine region – you can find the Saya fabric in Palestinian thobes, in their belts, you see it in Jordan and Lebanon and Syria as well.” Although Saya fabric varies from country to country, they still hold a dynamic influence for the Arab countries suffering in silence. Now, more than ever, is it time to preserve culture as a form of resistance.