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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    700 - 1000 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Supplementary weft, linen, wool and cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This complete linen cloth has a repeating all-over abstract design woven with a discontinous supplementary weft of coloured wools and white cotton. The cloth was part of a large acquisition from Reverend Greville J Chester in 1887. Chester was a keen collector of Egyptian antiquities and actively purchased objects abroad for several British museums.

Many cloths of this type have been recovered in Egypt although at the present we are not certain of their original function. They were found in burials, most of them already used, either wrapping or covering the dead.

Physical description

Full width linen cloth "brocaded' in green, brown, pinkish brown, pink wool and white cotton (possibly). An abstract repeating field design of octagons in two colours enclosing a four-petalled flower in reverse. The octagons are within a grid of diagonal lines of four small squares although not individually linked to each other. The field decoration is framed by a blue line, borders of alternating squares and small flowers, which ceases a little way in from the selvedges and warp fringe both ends. Discontinous supplementary weft under 1 over 3.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)


700 - 1000 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Supplementary weft, linen, wool and cotton


Width: 86.5 cm, Length: 116 cm

Object history note

Coarse linen but tidy back, with short cut ends from supplementary weft and not been carried over to next pattern (see T.98-1922 and 417-1889). This cloth was purchased from Reverend Greville J Chester (1830-1892).

Historical context note

The weaving technique is not strictly speaking a brocading but similar to the Swedish traditional weaving called dukagång, which is with discontinous supplementary weft, also called swivel weave. This can easily be confused with embroidery as long ends are left on the back. Weaving took place with back up.

Descriptive line

All-over abstract design woven with a discontinous supplementary weft of coloured wools and white cotton, 700-1000, Egypt


Cotton; Linen; Wool


Plain weave; Brocading


Archaeology; Africa; Textiles


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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