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Textile fragments

Textile fragments

  • Place of origin:

    Near East (Possibly, made)
    Egypt (made)
    Egypt (found)

  • Date:

    ca. AD700-900 (made)
    ca. AD1100-1400 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Museum number:

    133-1891

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

133-1891: Three pieces of samite in light blue, dark blue and buff/tan silks. They are cut into the shape of isosceles triangles and have double rows of stitch holes along all sides. The design is geometric with some stylised floral icons/palmettes. The pieces are stained. Found in an Egyptian tomb but probably of Near Eastern design.

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.

133A-1891: A hat made of a silk covering with wool and fibre padding and a linen lining. Egyptian, ca. AD1000-1400. From a tomb. The top of the hat is cone shaped and made of six triangles sewn together. A head band is attached around the base of this cone. The fabric is twill woven silk, in thin stripes of blue, green and pink? on a buff background. The inner lining is of a plain woven linen, approx. 12x12 tpc. The padding between these layers is of undyed wool and lengths of a grass-like fibre, probably linen. The hat is badly damaged with much staining and some dirt residue.

Physical description

133-1891: Three pieces of samite in light blue, dark blue and buff/tan silks. They are cut into the shape of isosceles triangles and have double rows of stitch holes along all sides. The design is geometric with some stylised floral icons/palmettes. The pieces are stained.

133A-1891: A hat made of a silk covering with wool and fibre padding and a linen lining. The top of the hat is cone shaped and made of six triangles sewn together. A head band is attached around the base of this cone. The fabric is twill woven silk, in thin stripes of blue, green and pink? on a buff background. The inner lining is of a plain woven linen, approx. 12x12 tpc. The padding between these layers is of undyed wool and lengths of a grass-like fibre, probably linen. The hat is badly damaged with much staining and some dirt residue.

Place of Origin

Near East (Possibly, made)
Egypt (made)
Egypt (found)

Date

ca. AD700-900 (made)
ca. AD1100-1400 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Descriptive line

Textile fragments (1) and a woven silk and linen, padded hat (2)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

R. Smalley, "Late Antique and Medieval Headwear from Egypt in the Victoria and Albert Museum", British Museum Studies in ANcient Egypt and Sudan 21 (2014): 81-101

Labels and date

Part of a Cap.
1\2 weft-faced compound twill.
Warp : / silk, 2 main to 1 binding.
Weft : silk of 2-3 colours, frequently 2 picks of each in turn.
Found in a tomb in Upper Egypt.
Near Eastern; 8th-10th century. []

Materials

Silk; Linen; Wool; Fibre

Techniques

Weaving; Sewing; Dyeing

Categories

Textiles; Archaeology

Collection

Middle East Section

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