From the mid-19th century most textiles woven in Palestine were made from cotton, linen, and silk yarns imported from Egypt, Syria, and England. However locally produced cotton and wool were used for making costume fabrics, and must have been a major source of textile yarns historically, especially for the poorer members of the population who could not afford imported fabrics.

Before chemical dyes were available, by far the most important dye was indigo. Some plain cotton and linen fabrics were left their natural color.

Egyptian cotton and linen yarns for the Palestinian weaving industry, and clothing materials, were imported during the 19th century and the Mandate period, though quantities must have fluctuated according to Egyptian production levels, the state of competition with English products, and the volume and success of local Palestinian production.

Most of the luxury materials used for making or decorating Palestinian garments were imported from the great Syrian centers of textile productions. These included silk yarns and embroidery threads, and cords of silk, silver and gold; and fabrics of silk, mixed silk and cotton, and imitation silk.

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