Tiraz textile fragment, also known as qasab - ROM2011_11818_5


Tiraz textile fragment, also known as qasab

Maker: Early Islamic
Medium:Linen tabby with tapestry inserts in silk and gold leaf wrapped thread
Geography: Egypt
Date: 12th century
Period: Fatimid Dynasty
29.6 x 39 cm
Object number: 978.76.188
Credit Line: Abemayor Collection given in memory of Dr. Veronika Gervers, Associate Curator, Textile Department (1968-1979) by Albert and Federico Friedberg. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
Not on view

Tiraz textiles are characterized by bands of Arabic inscription giving the name of ruler, place of manufacture, and date. Tapestry woven fabrics with gold thread (known as qasab) were among the most costly textiles made in Egypt in the Early Islamic period. By the 12th century, archaic kufic script had given way to the cursive style called naskhi. Also, the inscriptions no longer communicate the standard protocol of the Fatimid caliph - - instead, the words convey general wishes for success and well-being. The decorative bands between the two inscription lines become wider and denser in the 12th century. The rope-like interlace design that fills the decorative band was very popular in this period. The Fatimids used gold leaf - - a very pure gold - - which they cut into strips and wound around a silk core. Since gold leaf is very thin, it is no wonder that so much of it has flaked off!

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