Feb 3, 2006

Ikat tiraz

Ikat tiraz


Cotton and gold leaf: resist-dyed warp (ikat); plain weave with inscription

Overall: 41.7 x 30 cm (16 7/16 x 11 13/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1950.524



The "flame" pattern was dyed on the vertical warp threads before weaving began by tightly binding them to resist dye penetration, and repeated for each color. The process and fabric are called ikat, a Malaysian word which may have originated in South Arabia. Yemeni ikats with historical Arabic inscriptions from the 10th century are among the oldest known. This text, written in kufic script with gold paint outlined in black, is so damaged that it cannot be read.

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