Jenny Bowker from Australia, has been working to publicise the work of the Cairo Tentmakers. They are a group of men who make amazing appliqué. I haven't seen any in person but from the pictures, I reckon they could win the hand applique prize at any NZ Symposium and apparently they cut out tiny pieces with enormous tailors shears. We used those huge shears during the Costume Construction course and I could barely open and close them, let alone cut out appliqué.
Here is what Jenny writes :
"The Tentmakers are a group of men in Cairo who make spectacular applique. Nowadays most of what they make is intended for the walls of houses or on beds, but in Pharaonic, early Islamic, and Ottoman times it was intended for the inside walls of tents. With canvas behind it which formed the outside wall, the rich appliqué glowed with light on it, and was intended to amaze visitors to a leader's tent. Did you know that Cairo was originally called Fustat - which means the big tent? In pharaonic times the tents were appliqued leather, now all the work is cotton.