Damask Apprentice Belt

Warp Yarn: 
30/2 Gemstone Silk Forest Green
Weft yarn: 
30/2 Gemstone Silk Light Green
Length on Loom: 
Width on Loom: 
6 inches
Extant Textile Inspiration: 
This belt is made of Silk yarn, from Halcyon yarn in colour 102 and . The weaving is sett at 36 epi. I wound a 6" warp, 7 yards long. I am weaving the belt using a 4 shaft broken twill threading. The damask will be created using 1/3 and 3/1 broken twill to create the difference between pattern and background blocks. The warp had a maximum of 58 pattern blocks. The pattern blocks have been placed in a point draw of 15 blocks with 2 full repeats.
This belt was inspired by an 8th C Syrian Damask silk I studied at the Clothworkers Centre. The Clothworkers Centre, London houses the Victoria and Albert Museum's textile collection. This centre is a valuable resource for textile historians. The centre allows you to search it's textile collection and make appointments to study textiles in the collection. I have made several appointments over the years studying textiles in the weave structures used by Sasanian weavers, taquete, samitum, and damask. One textile I found that intrigued me was the 8th C Syrian Damask which inspired this belt. I have long been drawn to lotus and lily flowers. This damask textile contains a small element that is in fact a lily flower.
I drafted the pattern one element, a lily flower, from a 8th C Syrian Damask and drafted it inside a circle because roundelmotifs are a very common element in Sasanian textile designs. After weaving my initial draft, I have also added some small motifs in the space between the circles as seems to have been done in other Sasanian textiles. During my tests, I decided the motifs between the roundels were too small and took them out of the design.  As I was weaving the test patterns, I started noticing the lily flower motif in many other textiles and Sasnian finds. This motif can also be found in Sasanian Itaglio
234 ends wound for the warp
 As I am testing drafts for the final design, I was able to draft a lily flower within a cirlce defined by a line and a circle defined by circles, called a pearl roundel. When I sat down to make my final decision, it was a difficult choice. I went through all the extant Sasanian textiles I have studied in person and in books. I made notes of several things, total number of textiles, what type of roundel is used in the motif, and main design elements in the motif. I studied 50 Sasanian textiles in all. Nearly half of the textiles studied contain a roundel motif. There are 5 which contain a roundel defined with an outline. Ther are 5 that have pearl roundels. Overall 9 of the textiles have floral motifs.