A lot of Tunisian traditional garments are ornate and expensive. And the jewelry pieces are exquisite. You might even say that it is expected of a Tunisian bride to be literally covered in gold. So, the folk dress of this country is a sight to behold. But let’s look at just one garment in particular – a pretty farmla. This part of a Tunisian national costume is one of the most noticeable, especially the women’s farmla.
The photos were provided by Mr. Khaled Dridi
A farmla is an opulent and richly adorned Tunisian vest. It is used by both men and women and is a great example of outerwear worn in Tunisia. This garment is just one of many beautiful clothing articles typical for this country. Tunisians like their outfits ornate and skillfully embellished. That’s why their traditional clothes are often made from expensive fabrics (velvet, brocade, fine breathable cotton, etc.), decorated with gold or silver embroidery, and complemented with solid gold jewelry. Women’s costumes are especially eye-catching and their jewels are masterpieces (you can read about them here: Tunisian traditional jewelry. Top-6 jewelry pieces every Tunisian woman should own).
But let’s go back to the farmla. The women’s farmla (vest or waistcoat) is rather small – it is short and tight-fitting. Male vest is a little looser and has fewer decorations. At the front, it has a row of buttons, often decorative, or sometimes lacing. Also, the farmla is richly embellished with embroidery (gold or colorful threads are used), braiding, various trimmings, etc.
The farmla is traditionally worn over a jebba, shirt, or blouse. This garment is cherished so much by Tunisians that it is as fashionable today as it used to be in the past. Modern designers make farmlas, and beautiful ones, too. So, sometimes you can even see a modern woman wearing this garment with a European-style blouse.
Also, a farmla can be a part of Tunisian folk wedding dress. Like this one, worn over a great kmijja – a sleeveless dress.
Tunisian folk bridal gown with farmla