possibly 1700s or 1800s
Linen, silk, and dye
Average: 79.4 x 28 cm (31 1/4 x 11 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1244
This textile represents the work of at least four individuals: the person who prepares the fibers, the weaver, the dyer, and the embroiderer.
Small bands like this decorated furnishings. They are distinctive to Azemmour, Morocco, where Jewish women embroidered them at home. This band’s red designs are floral and geometric; the scrolls may be abstracted dragons. Its Renaissance-era motifs reflect centuries of cross-Mediterranean exchange (especially with Portugal, which ruled Azemmour from 1513 to 1541). Such designs traveled to North Africa via printed pattern books. Patterns were transferred onto fabric, then the backgrounds were covered with filling stitches: plait and cross-stitches were used here. The production of these embroideries ceased around the mid-1900s because of cost and changing fashions.
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