Women’s Traditional Clothing

Traditionally, women in major cities tended to wear an all-covering modesty garment called a haik or safsari that allos them freedom of movements without being seen by strangers. The sleeves that are embroidered with beads and silver/gold thread and underneath the garment are baggy silk trousers that have an elastic band at the bottom. Libyan women tend to wear colorful clothes and shiny cloth with bright colors and designs. The cloth is used to make a dress by attaching large silver brooches at the shoulders called khilalah in Arabic and tizerzai in Berber. The dress is belted at the waist and a second piece of fabric is wrapped around as the modesty garment.  

Women in rural areas covered their heads with a cloth, some of rather large size and many that are fairly heavy woven pieces similar to a rug.  

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