Tally is a folk art comes from the sources of ancient culture through thousands of years, connected to its tradition, habits, and ideals. It is a special form of embroidery made with silver or gold threads. The artisan makes one stitch at a time, then cuts the thread off and moves to the next stitch. This gives the design exact same shape when seen from the back or the front. The design go back even further than coptic and Islamic era.
This handicraft depends mainly on mosquito-net fabric, white or black-dyed, and flat threads of gold or silver or other antirust alloyed metal. Concerning the decorative design or patterns, it descends from the Egyptian cultural heritage. We can figure out the shape of a palm tree, a camel, a bride, stylized into various shapes, beside some complimentary abstract geometrical units.
Tally craft was mastered by women from upper Egypt. They have never dreamed of having their works exhibited in museums or worn by world movie stars.As an Egyptian folk art it was never a matter of luxury. It was a necessity and a unique way for earning living to those who struggle for life, at least to insure the minimum subsistence. Thanks to genuine creative talent and the ability to link beauty, utility, hobby and life. Our heritage has been preserved over long centuries as vivid as ever. Although conditions had led to the disappearance of this craft by the end of the first half of the twentieth century.