Syrian Silk Damask

Submitted by Jahanara on Sun, 08/01/2021 - 13:39
Time Period
8th C AD
9th C AD
10th C AD
11th C AD
Weave Structure

2128-1900 700-1000 possibly Syrian woven silk (damask)
Museum: Clothworkers
Reference Number: 2128-1900
Date: 700-1000
Culture: Syrian
Technique: Damask
Notes: purple on light purple background Museum description “A fragment of damask in bold purple and black. Possibly Syrian or Byzantine, ca. AD700-1000. Z-spun with brown warps. The design includes floral and geometric forms. The remaining form is like a large raspberry or flower bud hanging down. The fabric is badly damaged and the rest of the design is not obvious although there are some geometric lines around the bud that contain fleur-de-lis. The piece may have been hemmed around the edges or has been sewn to something else in the past. A damask is a reversible fabric of silk (also wool, linen or cotton) with a pattern formed from one warp and one weft. The pattern is in a warp-faced, satin weave with the background in weft-faced, sateen weave. Often with large floral designs. Damask was produced in ancient China but took it’s name from Damascus, Syria, where it was produced for European export in the 12th century.”

10" tall and. 5" wide

Palmette 5.25" tall 4.5" wide 
10 warp threads showing in .25" palmette leaf 1" tallphoto 147
Photo reference numbers 146

a light and dark marueen with diamond patterns and spade designs in the middle
Cloth woven by Jahanara based on this extant textile

Damask Apprentice Belt

Submitted by Jahanara on Fri, 07/30/2021 - 21:20

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: 
Syrian silk damask
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 has a maximum of 58 pattern blocks. The pattern blocks have been placed in a point draw of 15 blocks with 2 full repeats.
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. 

Picks Per Inch
Weave Structure
Portfolio Images
Close up of dark abd light green damask cloth with a circle made of dots and a rise motif with the circle
Length of dark and light green damask cloth with a circle made of dots and a rise motif with the circle
Cover Image
Close up of dark abd light green damask cloth with a circle made of dots and a rise motif with the circle