The Senmurv Silk

This silk was dated to the 7th-8th Century . The silk was found in Iran, but the conservationists contend that it may have been made in Central Asia. The cloth itself is a compound weft faced twill (or samitum) the twill as shown in the photograph above is a S twill. A single repeat of the senmurv design was measured at 15.5 inches  by 13.5 inches. Upon study of this textile there appears to be one single treading error in the cloth, which was a great achievement in a cloth with such a large number of threads. The monochromatic design is a light green on dark green. Within the senmerv’s chest there were curved designs 4 in total one is perfectly curved the others were a bit pixelated. The design also incorporated roundels, some of the roundels are perfect others are a bit flat on one side. One crescent crown was wider than the other, the crescent on the right measured 1.75 inches, where as the crescent on the left measured 1.5 inches roundel. Two different sized roundels were used in the design the large roundel was 1 1/8 inches  and the smaller .5 inch. This piece should be used the illustrate not only the technical accomplishments of Sasanid weavers, but also the difficulties weavers of any time period face in such designs. This design incorporated many curved elements, as weaving is essentially a grid or web, the use of curved elements is difficult. Tapestry weavers would turn the design on it’s side, so the curves are mostly running up and down, on a drawloom with a design which is to be repeated across the cloth a weaver could not use this method. The use of extremely fine threads was the best way to ensure a well curved line. This cloth was made of very fine thread, but as a weft faced compound twill the small weft threads were packed in so tightly that the cloth was still rather thicker than the same threads used in a balanced weave.  

Weave Structure: 

Time Period: 

7th C AD
8th C AD


Textile Image: 


The Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion

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