Department of Eastern Art

Newberry Collection of Islamic Textiles

Click for larger version of EA1984.445aP.E. Newberry collected 1010 Islamic embroideries from medieval Egypt. They date from the Fatimid dynasty (969-1171) and from the Ayyubid (1172-1249) and Mamluk (1250-1516) period. The textiles are mostly fragmentary, but remains of seams and hems indicate that they were once used for dress and furnishings.

Click for larger version of EA1984.495The ground fabric generally is undyed linen, often of fine quality, with the embroidery stitched in silk.

Click for larger version of EA1984.353More than twenty-five different stitch techniques were used, with many of them counted and worked precisely to produce extremely fine and intricate patterns. The high quality of many of the pieces indicates that they were made for a wealthy clientele. The use of heraldic emblems on several fragments links them to the sultan's court.

Top Right: Linen embroidered with silk. Newberry collection, EA1984.445a

Left: Linen embroidered with silk, pattern darning in running stitch. Newberry collection, EA1984.495

Bottom Right: Newberry collection, EA 1984.353

  Indian Textiles Catalogues
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Last updated: 25/11/2005