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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (Possibly, made)
    Byzantium (Possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. AD600-900 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Museum number:

    2191B-1900

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Compound silk weave, samite fragment. Possibly Egyptian/Byzantine, ca. AD600- 900. Height of 83mm with width of 133mm at base. The base is a border edge. The fabric is of light and dark brown (coffee coloured) silk and is discoloured, with holes. The decoration consists of a long spade shaped leaf (50mm x 25mm) repeated in the darker thread. Thread dia. approx. 0.25mm. 2191A-1900 is less discoloured but appears to be originally from the same piece of fabric.

Samite (twill woven silk) was thought to originate from Persia under Sassanian rule (AD224-651). It was commonly decorated with pairs of animals and birds and set in pearled lotus roundels. It is often found in Western burials, within church possessions and along the Silk Road. Byzantine weaving workshops took on the samite technique to make it an essential weave of the period. It was a luxury textile of the Middle Ages brought to Europe when the Crusades opened up direct contact with the East. It was forbidden to the middle classes of France under the sumptuary rules c. 1470.

Physical description

Compound silk weave, samite, fragment. The base is a border edge. The fabric is of light and dark brown (coffee coloured) silk and is discoloured, with holes. The decoration consists of a long spade shaped leaf (50mm x 25mm) repeated in the darker thread. Thread dia. approx. 0.25mm. 2191A-1900 is less discoloured but appears to be originally from the same piece of fabric.

Place of Origin

Egypt (Possibly, made)
Byzantium (Possibly, made)

Date

ca. AD600-900 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Descriptive line

Compund silk weave fragment. Possibly Egyptian/Byzantine, ca. AD600-900.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Categories

Archaeology; Textiles; Africa

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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