Picturing Jordan

Sharing Jordan with the world — one picture at a time.

Buying Bedouin Fabric in Amman

Several reams of colorful fabric stacked vertically in a shop in downtown Amman.

Reams of colorful Bedouin fabric on sale in downtown Amman

Anyone who has drank tea in Petra or ate mansaf in Wadi Rum will quickly recognize the unique fabric adorning traditional Bedouin tents in Jordan. These colorful designs are commonly used across the Arabian Peninsula and beyond, from Syria and Iraq in the north to the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the southeast. American musician Cardi B even featured some in the 2017 music video for her song Bodak Yellow!

Shops in downtown Amman sell the fabric for two Jordanian Dinar1 per meter. This cheap and durable fabric makes a great souvenir or gift for friends and family back home — some things haven’t changed since the times of the silk road! Unfortunately, one shopkeeper told me that this fabric used to be made exclusively in Aleppo, but production has moved to China since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

  1. Approximately 2.8 USD. ↩︎