30/2 Gemstone Silk
Width on Loom:
Samitum is a commonly found textile in Sasanid Persia. It is found as cloth for clothing, but also as trim on the Antinoe Riding Coats. I have found references to 9 extant Sasanian samitum textiles. I studied several Sasanian Samitum pieces at The Clothworker's Centre; The Senmerv Silk and Samitum in linen and silk, and Pattern woven silk.
I decided to weave this set and mount it on detachable cuffs, so I can wear them with any costume because samitum is resource intensive. The materials are expensive and the time to weave samitum is high. I, therefore, wanted to maximize my use of these pieces. These cuffs were tremendous fun to weave and I look forward to weaving another set. This was my first full samitum project. I wove 2 samples of the central motif before embarking on this set. The first 2 samples were done in larger silk at a wider sett. Although they looked lovely, I found the larger silk too chunk for the delicate ivy design.
I chose the design elements based on authenticity and my own personal taste. Purple and gold are my personal colours and I wanted a design that was both authentic and related to my registered arms. I have analysed 50 extant textiles from Sasanian Persia, of these textiles 21 contained roundels as a part of the overall design. I therefore wanted to use a motif that incorporated a roundel. I chose to use part of a draft from Nancy Arthur Hoskins. Hoskins' draft was based on the trim from one of the Antinoe Riding Coats found in the same dig as the taquete pillow. These coats were dated to the 3rd C CE and attributed to Persian weavers (Hoskins, 2002). The ivy pattern is based off a pattern by Nancy Spies, but adapted by me. Ivy shows up in many Sasanian Persian textiles and is a personal favorite of mine.
The roundels are set at the point repeat to fully utilize the 13 pattern shafts. The ivy designs are offset from the point repeat. This allows them to repeat across the cuff without being a full mirror image. I did not want the ivy stem to have leaves coming off the stem to each side at the same point, so the design was offset the point to achieve this.
Hoskins, N.A. (2002). Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taquete. University of Washington Press.