There are only four degrees of separation

It isn’t often that I write a blog post for an audience of one, but this post is being written primarily for one reader. The rest of you are more than welcome to keep reading.
Writing a blog, you never quite know who is going to be reading what you write. A little bit ago, a woman was doing research about Israeli Yemenite embroidery and the work of Esther Zeitz, and found this posting Keeper of the Textiles part 4 that I had written a while back, via the magic of Google.
She sent me an email anting to know a bit more about Zeitz and her work.  I was intrigued and did some Zeits  Googleing myself. I was delighted to find this post Nostalgia Sunday – Yemenite Embroidery that was written by my dear friend Rachel.  We seem to have been the only two listings for  Esther Zeitz available on Google in English. 100_2483
What are the odds of that??? The email  and the fact that I was sick and couldn’t do real work got my research itch going.

This Yemenite embroidery was first sold at WIZO stores in israel, that it the Women's International Zionist organization. Like many women’s organizations from early in the 20th century the organization attempted to help women immigrants to Israel earn financial independence through hand work.

Many of their embroidered goods  were sold in Israel.  Other Jewish  women’s groups held fashion shows of this embroidery or sold it to help the Jewish community in Israel.

Since I wrote the blog entry I have inherited some other scarves , some older than the first batch.


This one came from my friend Vivian. I believe that it is older than the ones I inherited from my mother.  for one thing the metallic thread is far more tarnished. Also the rayon crepe just feels older.
Here is another scarf, also old, with an extension in light blue rayon. the fabric quality is not so great. the embroidery is lovely.

You can compare these two beautiful but crude scarves to the bodice of an Esther Zeitz dress.
I think this dress is from the early 1960’s. it belonged to my mother’s friend Bernice. the base fabric is a heavy rayon crepe with a metallic sheen. Both the design and the quality of the embroidery are fairly sophisticated. The work echoes the look of jewelry even more than it does traditional embroidery.
It’s wonderful work.

So why is this blog post being written for an audience of one? Because between my own sickness and the ill state of my computer, I had inadvertently deleted the researcher’s email.  So, if I wrote this posting for you…write back!!!


  1. Well, hello Sarah! 'Tis I, the long lost researcher, still researching Esther and still unable to find anything in English not written by you or one of the Neimans. ;) Oddly enough I came across the notes I took during our conversation about two hours before I came across this blog entry. Your phone number is at the top of the notes and now on my to-call list as well.

    If you get a chance to drop me an e-mail we'll make plans for another conversation.

    Looking forward to it and hope you are feeling considerably better than when we last spoke.


  2. As I read this, I am wearing an Esther Zeits blouse which I bought in a second-hand shop in New York, where it was labeled "hippy blouse" and priced under $10. Clearly, the shop owners had no idea what they had. I would love to find more of Esther's work.

    Susan W

  3. Susan - today i saw one of her blouses in an antique stall. I didn't check the price, but I was happy to see it. guess you have to shop in thrift stores where old Hadassah ladies donate their clothes.

  4. Casper, WY is pretty short on old Hadassah ladies and Esther Zeitz cast-offs. Imagine my envy...


  5. Hi, Sarah. Are you still out there? India

    1. India I am still here, you can send me an email,


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