Tiraz textile: fragment of a shawl - ROM2014_13910_37


Tiraz textile: fragment of a shawl

Medium:Cotton tabby with warp ikat patterning and embroidered inscription
Geography: Made in Yemen; used in Egypt
Date: 10th century
38.5 x 81.4 cm; MOUNTED DIMENSIONS: L=63.5 cm W=96.5 cm D= 2 cm
Object number: 963.95.9
Not on view

Ikat shawl with embroidered inscription. This shawl has warp ikat patterning of splashed arrows arranged in 15 panels by white warp stripes. The bottom has a twisted warp fringe. Near the fringe is a single word (undeciphered) in tiny letters. The embroidered kufic inscription repeats, “In the name of God; dominion belongs to God.”

Striped cottons from Yemen were internationally renowned and probably included the ikat type displayed here. Many were exported to Cairo where a few have survived because of the dry climate. This is an early example of ikat, a resist dye technique in which the yarns are dyed specific patterns before they are put on the loom and woven. Areas of colour with fuzzy contours are tell-tale signs of ikat. The twisted fringe along one edge, which provides a fine finish, served a function in the ikat weaving. Loops of some weft threads were left at the selvage to permit adjustment of successive passes of weft to achieve better registry of the ikat pattern.

If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.