Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Jewish Gold Thread Workers of Cordoba

Visit the Casa de Sefarad near the old Jewish Synagogue in Cordoba, Spain and you will see some fine examples of Jewish precious metal embroidery and learn about the practice of making the thread. I was intrigued to find that the work was wholly given over to widows, or sometimes spinsters, with no other means of support. Theirs was the job of meticulously winding thinly beaten gold and silver metal strips around silken thread cores. No-one else was allowed this work. I wonder what would have happened to these women when the sumptuary laws of Alfonso X of Castile were enacted For a start women had to wear a distinguishing badge on their head to mark out their Jewish birth.
But more than that, women - Jews and Christians - were forbidden to wear any gold work on their clothes, belts or shoes. To find out more about the Casa de Sefarad, just click here. And if you are visiting Cordoba to see the Mesquita - it has to be among the seven wonders of my personal world - the Taberna Rafae is an excellent place to eat.


  1. Thanks for the travel tip. I'm hoping to go to Cordoba in March.

  2. How wonderful - have an excellent time!