The Senmurv Silk

Submitted by Jahanara on Sat, 07/31/2021 - 20:22
Time Period
7th C AD
8th C AD
Weave Structure
Cultures
Notes

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.

Structure weft faced compound twill

Measurements warp 16"/ 41 cm weFT 25"/65 cm

Warp (fibre and twist direction)

Weft (fibre and twist direction)

Epi:

Ppi:

Design

General notes Some of the silk is discoloured differently than the rest, the silk around the roundel encircling the senmurvs is lighter than the rest, erhaps this was reated differently? Img 100-4371 between the senmurvs there is a floral pattern the stem of the flower is very faint and there is a break in the twill line between the stem and the backbground, Could there have been embroidery that has deteriorated? Extremely rich cloth, but there does seem to be a threading error in the upper right hand corner.

 

Catalog # 8579-1893 The Senmurv silk

Region Iran, potentially made in Central Asia

Time period 7th-8th C

Structure compound weft faced twill left hand twill

Measurements Single Repeat of the design 15.5 inches 13.5 inches

Warp (fibre and twist direction) check photo

Weft (fibre and twist direction)

Epi:

Ppi:

Design

General notes appears to be one single treading error in the cloth. Light green on dark green, withing the senmerve's chest ther are curved designs 4 in total one is perfectly curved the others are pixelated. Some of the roundels are perct others are a bit glat on one side. One crescent crown is wider than the other, right hand 1.75 inches left 1.5 inches roundel large 1 1/8 inches  smaller .5 inches

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O85315/the-s%C4%93nmurw-silk-woven-silk-unknown/

Image
Cloth with a green background and a motif of a cirlce of dots in the center of the circle a senmerv facing right
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A silk with a green bacground with a yellowish light green senmerv facing right within a circle of circles where it joing the circle next to it there is another smaller circle of circles enclosing acrescen.
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A close up of the senmerve in which you can see the geometric designs taht make up the tail and wing details
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Detail of spade shaped leaf that mades up the wing detail
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Close up of the circle or cirlce and screscent
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Further close up of the crescent, which also shows a flaw in the fabric