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Posted on: August 20, 2019

Find It At The Met – Tiraz

Good design never goes out of style! Despite being one thousand years old, this tiraz fragment displays an ikat pattern of blue and yellow that continues to turn heads.

A textile fragment from 9th century Yemen reveals an Ikat dyed cotton fragment in yellow and blue with a gold embroidered band called Tiraz in Persian.

Dated back to the late ninth or early tenth century, this beautiful hand-dyed and hand-embroidered fabric is composed of cotton threads with painted black ink and gold. Art historians attribute this textile to the famed resist-dyed ikat process of Yemen that was world-renowned at the time. Furthermore, it was given the name Tiraz, the Persian word for embroidery, to commemorate the history of its fabrication.

A textile fragment from 9th century Yemen reveals an Ikat dyed cotton fragment in yellow and blue with a gold embroidered band called Tiraz in Persian.

Similarly to other ikat designs, this fragment shows a pattern of concentric diamonds – in this case in blue, mustard, and the light cream of undyed cotton. This motif results from the ikat technique that calls for the dyeing of threads before they are handwoven on a loom. Yemen, whose geographical location created the perfect stop for trade along the Silk Road, became famous for stunning and durable ikat textiles such as this one.

Many tiraz textiles, again like this one, were manufactured by hand in royal workshops. The intention was to use such precious fabrics for the clothing of rulers and noblemen. The inscription on this particular fragment presents kufic writing stylized with ultra-curved letter ends. The inscription, gilded and outlined in black ink, reads as a declaration of faith. When translated, the inscription reads “Dominion belongs to Him [God]” and “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”.

A detail image of a textile fragment from 9th century Yemen reveals an Ikat dyed cotton fragment in yellow and blue with a gold embroidered Arabic band called Tiraz in Persian.

Not only is its longevity a testament to the quality of this tiraz piece, but it also serves to show the superiority that well-made handicrafts possess. This is the first principle of Orley Shabahang‘s process. To see and feel the difference of our high standards, visit an Orley Shabahang retailer nearest you.