The malak is a glamorous costume decorated with the couching tahriry stitch, which started in Bethlehem and nearby Beit Jala and spread to Beit Sahour and villages around Jerusalem. It is unlike the embroidery of any other part of Palestine. It is embroidered with geometric patterns, outlined in gold or silver cords on the chest and sides of the dress. One feature that makes the malak dress special is its fabric, which is hand woven in Bethlehem, and comes in stripes of black, red, green and orange. The different pieces of fabric are connected with the manajel stitch in silk thread of many colors. It was customary to be married in this dress, not only in Bethlehem, but in many Palestinian cities. Women also saved one of their malak costumes to be buried in. As a result, many of the finest dresses have been lost. In the second half of the 20th century, production of this style declined, to the point that at present, it is hard to find a woman in Bethlehem who wears the malak dress.