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DOHA ARE you a woman looking for traditional Sudanese clothing popularly known as thoub, tobe, thobe, tob or tawb? Then you donae1/4 TM t have to travel to Sudan to get one, because a number of Sudanese women designers in Qatar have been designing the outfit locally.

The women have been modifying the garment to make it more elegant, attractive and modern making a Sudanese woman to stand out in the crowd.

Recently, the designers showcased their exquisite works at an expo organised by Sudanese Women Association (SWA) at the Sudanese School.

Speaking to Qatar Tribune Susan Khalafallak described the thoub as a long piece of material wrapped around the body worn in Sudan during activities in the house and various occasions.

Usually, women wear the thoub over a short dress.

She said that she ventured into the traditional outfit so that she could make it more elegant and sophisticated, while endeavouring to create something unique.

ae1/4oeI wanted to modify the thoub to make it better.

I wanted to add something new so that my collections would be unique.

The traditional garment, I felt, was so boring. So, I tried to make it more appealing. Most of my collections are limited editions. I donae1/4 TM t like many people having similar designs,ae1/4A[yen] said Khalafallak, who studied Fine Applied Art, specialising in graphic design at the University of Khartoum.

She uses techniques and materials such as collage, embroidery, crystals, besides others to bring out desired work in her collections.

Khalafallak pointed out that she designs garments for various occasions.

According to her, dresses for particular occasions take longer to complete because of the details that they entail and the elegance factor.

According to her, she uses any medium that she can lay her hands on to make her work unique. She also uses fabrics, including chiffon, silk and cotton.

ae1/4oeSudan is a hot country.

During summer people prefer light-weight garments to suit the weather. Sudan is also a producer of cotton. Therefore, I have to utilise whatever is available locally,ae1/4A[yen] said the home-based designer who has been in the business since 2000. Her business is called Sudanawia.

According to her, she has made the longest thobe in the world which is about 76-metre long, which is equivalent to 17 thoubs combined.

Khalafallak has sold her collections as far as the United States of America, Dubai, Sudan and Mozambique.

Her designs have also been showcased at various fashion shows. She takes her daughter, Amal Yasir, along with her to help translate queries and comments from English.

ae1/4oeMy dream is to join Virginia Commonwealth University after high school. I would love to turn my mumae1/4 TM s store into a big workshop, which will produce hundreds of thobes in a day,ae1/4A[yen] said the Grade 7 Student of Bright Future Pakistani School.

Another designer, Magda Mohamed said that she designs various kinds of thoubs, including those for different occasions. According to her, the wedding thoubs are more colourful and their prices are determined by the sophistication and the details of the design.

ae1/4oeThe price depends on the design,ae1/4A[yen] she said.

Recently, she displayed a traditional red bridal dress, the jartik.

ae1/4oeIt takes me about one week to make a wedding dress,ae1/4A[yen] she said.

But what inspired her? ae1/4oeDesigning was a hobby since my childhood. I term it as a gift from God,ae1/4A[yen] she said.

According to her, she also gets inspired when she designs a thoub. ae1/4oeMy designs keep me going. Most of my clothes are limited editions. I feel happy when I see women clad in my collections.

It is always a joy to see women feeling good about themselves while wearing my creations,ae1/4A[yen] said the home-based entrepreneur who started her business about five years ago.

She added that she has many design ideas from which her clients can choose. ae1/4oeWe have a catalogue that has over 200 designs where my clients can make orders from,ae1/4A[yen] said the 44-yearold who hails from Khartoum.

According to her daughter Wadha Awad Akoor, Magdaae1/4 TM s creativity is visible in her work. She says that she might follow in her motherae1/4 TM s footsteps.

ae1/4oeI love my mumae1/4 TM s work. She designs from the heart. She is happy when people buy and wear her collections. I believe I have a talent as well and I might followin my mumae1/4 TM s footsteps,ae1/4A[yen] she said.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Jul 9, 2013
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