asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatooh,
I recently got in the mail a navy blue Jelbab Makkah, designed by Al Moultazimoun in France.
Al Moultazimoun is a long established Islamic clothing and household items business which produces garments which are in line with the guidelines of what constitutes proper hejab for Muslims. They design and produce a wide variety of one and two-piece overhead jelbabs, shoulder abayaat, fancy party abayaat, outfits, separates, scarves for women along with mens and childrens items! One thing which drew me to them originally when I first found out about them (wayyy back in 2009 via a friend in the UK) was that their designs are truly unique! They design everything in house so they truly are Islamic “fashion” designers! They take style designs from here and there and then put them together to make something unique which you will NOT find elsewhere! On top of all of that, their items are extremely high quality and they are always improving designs and coming out with small, limited addition selections while keeping a steady core of basic designs which are popular year round.
The Jelbab Makkah is cut in the jelbab style but is a butterfly style with attached black cotton jersey sleeves/gloves with some nice, uniquely AlMoultazimoun “touches” which you will not see elsewhere.
The material is a navy koshibo polyester which has a very slight sheen to it in the sun, its extremely airy and lightweight-actually lighter than the koshibo El Bassira uses…when worn it actually feels weightless, plus its opaque and there is great air flow. The sleeves are black jersey with a small hole on the side so they can be worn covering the hands like a semi-glove. Thats not really my style and I chose this jelbab for the reason that I wanted to wear them as sleeves instead. So, you can do either/or.
This jelbab design features cording down the top seams (head to arms) and the inside of the jelbab here you put it on is quite unique designed! Unlike every other jelbab designer out there right now, their jelbabs not feature a HEADBAND with an ELASTIC backing and NOT the traditional headband with ties! I LOVEEEE this new, updated headband feature because one huge peeve Ive always had with the French/Algerian overhead jelbabs is that the ties can be a nuisance…either you have to tie them tight so they stay put they have no give then, plus they can become untied during a long wearing, which is inconvenient…if your out and unable to adjust them! I find the elastic headband much more comfortable with my eye-glasses as well, there is less pressure on my ears and the glasses!
Hmmm…also even though its butterfly cut, it doesnt weight any more than a regular non-butterfly cut overhead jelbab and I didnt find it any heavier than the 2 piece jelbabs that I own, which is a definite perk.
A few cons I found was…I got the 165cm length and I find it just an inch or 2, too long for me…so I need to hem it at some point, yet I know the 160cm would probably be a wee bit too short. LOL. But, they do have some seriously long lengths…like 175cm which would probably work for someone quite tall! Also, I wish they had a similar style but with more of a sleeve and less of a butterfly cut but still with say, jersey cuffs. I find all the fabric a bit difficult to handle, like when I’m walking with my son to the playground and he’s on his bike…a few times it got into the spokes. I manage to control it, as I am used to Gulf overheads…but you know, if your in a rush, you just forget and rush over…you know. So I wish they would design a style with slightly less width and a bit more of a sleeve while retaining the jersey cuffs as I think the jersey sleeves had a very sleek, streamline and current feel to the style. My only real other qualm was the packing, it was shipped in a small cardboard box which was soaking wet and half destroyed when it reached me…and yes, wrapped in plastic! I assume its not their fault..and alhamdullah it came via EMS so there is some security, BUT, for overseas shipments I think they should switch to plastic or tyvek shipping packaging for extra security! Because really…you never know!
As far as suitability to summer or winter wear…because I KNOW someone will ask about the fabric and wearing in the tropics or arctic circle…LOL…I live in a big city which gets incredibly muggy, hot,nasty and humid in summer! It canbe downright uncomfortable…the high humidty has yet to reach us but its been quite hot and humid the past few days and I havent found the material to be sweaty or heavy or hot. Infact the koshibo they use seems to be like half the weight El Bassira uses…it (ad the design itself) lets in a lot of air, mash’Allah and really, I dont feel hot in it…I normally just wear a tank or teeshirt and linen/light denim pants under a jelbab anyway in warm weather. The jersey sleeves may get a bit sweaty come the high humidity, but I probably wont be too bothered by that. But if your very sensitive to heat you could always try one of their jelbabs with the crepe or koshibo sleeves and not jersey….or just grin and bear it. LOL The jelbab itself is quite sturdy and I forsee it lasting for years.
As far as ordering from outside of France goes…they are set up for overseas orders and do have an English version of their French site, so just click the appropriate flag icon. The English version isn’t as extensive as the French one (as far as descriptions go), but you can also contact them with questions as they speak English. They are well known in Western Europe and the UK and are looking to branch into the US/Canada market with their designs…which I hope they can do as Ive like to see more sisters try these styles as they are so well covering, modest yet have style.
I was also able to get a brief interview with the owner of the company…I learnt a lot…and I was surprised to learn their garments are produced in Morocco…mash’Allah!
How did AlMoultazimoun start?
We started the adventure in 2005. With training in trade and textile trades, we found that the supply of Islamic clothing was very limited and lacked style and originality.
At this period, few people by sewing selling their goods on their blog and there was a great lack of professionalism.
The Muslim community is very important in France and Europe, we thought we needed to put our knowledge to serve the community.
Having a creative soul and with the right skills we launched our project, year after year makes us the must-shop in Muslim fashion.
Can you tell me about the company & designs?
We are a French company and we own a manufacturing plant in Morocco where we manufacture our products
For all our collections, we take inspiration from the history of al-Andalus, which traces the golden age of Islam in Muslim Spain where the peaks of science and sacred laymen were reached by great scholars and theologians.
There are other collections such as the Eastern World which is a Snapshot of Indo-Pakistan and is full of vitality and energy, the Maghreb al arabi collection inspired by ancestral traditions of our parents with the famous Moroccan djellabas, the gandouras and kaftans.
Essentially, we combine substance and form to create clothing that respects the principles of Islam with a modern touch and a concept related to history or civilization.
We are known today in the Muslim world of fashion as having an original style and we’re also a trendsetter.
Our products are popular in France and in Europe in the world and we receive many messages of congratulations from satisfied customers.We work very hard so that when the customer opens the package, this becomes a single moment of happiness.
As far as shipping costs abroad go…we are also working with an international carrier to lower shipping costs for USA and Canada.
What is the situation of Muslims in France?
There are a lot of Islamophobia in France with worried glances or aggressive behavior towards the sisters wearing the hijab or jilbab.We implore Allah to help Muslims in France and worldwide
We have developed our style with the desire to be original and doquality work.All our jilbabs and abayas are unique créations not seen elsewhere! Since we are fashion designers this is what distinguishes us from many online shops and we are proud to make this work.
With Allah’s help, we go always in the right direction, we are pleased to offer our designs to Muslims in the U.S. who order from us (NYC, Dallas, Philadelphia, Austin, New Jersey etc …)
*alhamdullah!~ jazakh’Allah’Khair for the short interview!*