Textile Fragment with Interlace Design

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Textile fragment with interlace design 11th–12th centuries, Egypt Linen and silk Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 91614

Textile fragment with interlace design

During the Fatimid period in Egypt, the ornamental bands found in textiles became much more elaborate than in centuries past. As can be seen in this example, a polychrome tapestry fragment is stitched to a plain linen ground. The pattern consists of interlacing ribbons in a silky and metallic yellow color that resembles gold. Interestingly, the practice of interlacing is a textile technique, but in this instance the image of interlace is woven as a decorative pattern. This type of knotted motif also appears in other media, including ceramics.

Bibliography: Contadini 1998, 39–58, 67–70, pls. 24 and 30; Bloom 2007, 161–162, fig. 129; Micklewright 1991, 39; and Baer 1998, 81ff.

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