Dating fabric with egyptian motifs
Despite their prevalence, comparatively few textiles have survived from the early Islamic period.Textiles are inherently fragile, and because of their value Islamic fabrics in all periods were cut down and reused over and over again until they literally wore out.They were anything but timid about flaunting their rank through the use of rich textiles.They regaled themselves and their horses with these luxurious woven accoutrements and spread them unabashedly on the walls, floors and furniture of their magnificent palaces, even using them to decorate their coffins.These gracious courtly works, with their origins based upon naturalistic images of flora and fauna, established the sophisticated design vocabulary of the Safavid empire in its sumptuous textiles as well as its majestic Persian carpets.They are quite a contrast to the geometric abstractions found in a wide range of colorful tribal designs one associates with Persian textiles and rugs woven in the outlying villages.Many of the extant early Islamic textiles were found in Egypt, primarily in graves, where the dark and dry conditions helped to preserve them.
The Sassanid designs are mostly birds, animals, hunting ground and horsemen as well as some abstract designs.
Of the many diverse arts that flourished in the early Islamic period, textiles played an especially significant role in society, one that continued in subsequent periods.
Textiles were ubiquitous in Islamic lands, serving as clothing, household furnishings, and portable architecture (tents).
The manufacture of and trade in textiles were highly sophisticated and profitable industries that built upon Byzantine and Sasanian traditions.
Often made with costly materials such as silk and gold- and silver-wrapped thread and decorated with complex designs, textiles were luxury goods signifying wealth and social status.
Although the textiles once-brilliant colors have been dimmed by time, and we can now only imagine the larger garment, wall hanging, or cushion they may've once been, it nonetheless enriches our visual perception of early Islamic civilization.