Mariam Satour is an embroidery and Fiber artist who started her journey with embroidery back when she was still a little girl. She started with small needlepoint kits and she just kept going. When Mariam Satour was a graphic design student, she created her own patterns and illustrations then turned them into needlepoint pieces. Embroidery has always been a part of Mariam’s life.
We sat down with Mariam to know more about her story and learn about her craft!
What’s your favorite thing about embroidery?
For me as an artist, embroidery has so much potential as a medium. It enables me to translate my ideas and concepts in new ways. There’s a huge variety of materials, techniques. When I combine them all together I get an endless pool of possibilities.
When did you decide to take your embroidery talents to the next level and start selling your art?
The idea was always in the back of my mind but I was just too afraid to take the leap. However, in 2018, I decided to quit my full-time job as a Senior Graphic Designer and pursue my dream. I decided to start my own business as a full-time Embroidery Artist.
Tell us about #EgyptianStitchers
It was made to connect us all together, both beginner and expert stitchers.
The idea was to create a platform to help us connect and share our work together. That’s how #Egyptianstitchers came to life because as Egyptian makers we already face a lot of challenges when it comes to learning a new craft. It’s hard to find the right inspiration, materials, to introduce ourselves to the market (if there is any), and find each other.
What kind of products do you sell?
Currently, I take commissions for embroidery pieces on a monthly basis. I also sell DIY Embroidery Kits with a pattern of my design included.
Tell us about the embroidery kits. How did you get the idea for them?
DIY Embroidery Kits are not something new, they’ve been here for decades. A lot of embroidery artists and needlepoint experts have been making them all over the world. They’re just not very common in Egypt.
The idea was to provide those who are still starting out with everything they need to complete their own piece. I wanted to save them the hustle of shopping for materials and learning stitches and embroidery techniques on their own.
I wish I had something like that available when I first started out, it would’ve saved me a lot of time and effort, but every step of the way teaches you something new!
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What were the challenges you faced since you started your journey with embroidery?
As a professional embroiderer, I learned that things take time, you can’t rush your own growth. Not seeing results right away is extremely challenging. Especially after putting time and effort into your work.
Patience, work, and support from the people around you are essential.
Do you think the art of embroidery gets the attention it deserves in Egypt? And who are some of your favorite Egyptian embroidery artists?
Embroidery forms a huge part of our Egyptian heritage; from ancient Egyptian embellished garments, Islamic & Coptic tapestries to Bedouin needlepoint and traditional folk embroidery.
Even in our own families’ homes, we would always find a tablecloth, a napkin, a cushion, or a handkerchief that our mothers or grandmothers embroidered and is now considered a family heirloom.
So, it was always in our blood as Egyptians to stitch, but unfortunately, our fast-paced modern life has driven us a bit away from this type of art. However, in the last few years, I can clearly see that embroidery is strongly making its way back with all the social media exposure to international artists and different contemporary embroidery styles.
One of the best local businesses that employed folk embroidery in their brand is Nevin Altmann, she was able to transform traditional embroidery and the talents of Egyptian women into a modern and vibrant brand that truly stands out.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
In the future, I hope I can teach embroidery on a wider scale. I would love to travel to different places in Egypt and teach young generations the art of embroidery.
I want to contribute even if with a small part in the rebirth of hand embroidery as an art in Egyptian culture.
Mariam Satour is an artist that we can’t wait to see more from, you can check out her work here!