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Splendid Suzanis

Suzani comes from the Persian word for “needle,” and the word refers to embroidered hangings or fabric coverings, generally a meter and a half wide (4-5′) but sometimes much more. The birthplace of suzanis…

Tile with Arabic inscription, Iran, about 1215. Museum no. 1481-1876

Calligraphy in Islamic art – beyond pen and paper

The development of sophisticated calligraphy as an art form is not unique to Islamic culture. Other examples include Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and illuminated bibles from north-west Europe including the famous Book of…

The “Mantes” Carpet Northern Iran, second half of the 16th century Pile knotted in wool on cotton foundation, asymmetrical knot H. 7.83 m; W. 3.79 m Formerly in the Collégiale de Mantes Musée du Louvre, acquired 1913 OA 6610

Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Textile Art

In traditional Islamic society, textiles and dress played a significantly greater socio-cultural role than in the western world. A crucial item of furnishing in the Islamic world, the carpet served not merely as…

Textile fragment, late 10th century; cAbbasid, Probably Iraq, Cotton, plain weave with painted inscription

Textile fragment, late 10th century

Cotton textiles from the eastern Islamic world were often inexpensively decorated with simple painted brushstrokes. The painted surface decoration of these textiles imitates the more luxurious type with embroidered silk inscriptions and also…

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