Tiraz textile: shawl fragment - ROM2014_13910_39


Tiraz textile: shawl fragment

Medium:Cotton tabby with warp ikat pattern, painted ink inscription with gold leaf
Geography: Made in Yemen; used in Egypt
Date: 10th century
28.1 x 72.4 cm; Mounted dimensions: L=30.4 x W=77.7 cm
Object number: 970.364.19
Not on view

This example has warp stripes in brown, blue and white, typical of the famous medieval ikats from Yemen. Areas of colour with fuzzy contours are telltale signs of ikat. Across the width, a gold leaf inscription outlined in black ink exhibits a flamboyant floriated and plaited kufic style. To the right of the inscription is a complex knot. The text reads, “In the name of God, may God bless Muhammad.”

The variegated colours of blue and tans are typical of the famous medieval ikats from Yemen. Ikats are identified by areas of colour with fuzzy contours; this effect results from dyeing the threads the desired colours before weaving them. This type of striped cotton from Yemen was famous internationally and examples have survived only in the dry Egyptian soil.

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