A Guide to Silk Textile of the Middle East: Origin and Expansion


Silk has been famous for centuries. Middle eastern textile manufacturing and their business was a major commerce hub before the Islamic era. Eastern Mediterranean ports were the medium of transportation of the silk trade system from Asia to Europe. These different marketplaces were the centers of textile manufacturing. The textile industry of Sasanian and Byzantine was subsumed under Islamic authority between the seventh and ninth centuries.

When Islam came into existence, their ancestors started influencing the textile industry and soon developed their silk fabric and other popular cloth material. Because of the tremendous demand from the middle eastern textile industry in medieval Europe, This marketplace became more popular than in Europe. The wide textile industry inherited from Arabic, Persian, and Turkish including phrases like taffeta, damask, muslin, and mohair becomes the link between European and Islamic textiles.

Lightweight silk

Lampas, compound wills, and brocades as well as double and triple clothes were started to be used by Islamic textile production factories. Patterns were highly styleful and were available at different times and locations. Simpler woven like satin and taffeta and also the different ranges of ultra silk fabric also played a significant role in it. Silk fabric started covering the cotton weft to make an expensive silk fabric. In the satin weave, the silk weave was visible on the fabric’s face and the cotton was reversed off the silk fabric. Soon the silk fabric was made mandatory for Islamic males and became very popular.


This silk fabric was popular from the eleventh to the fourteenth century and was distinctive. Embroidery or tapestry is woven and inscription borders were used to adorn the Tiraz fabric. In addition to Baghdad, various other kings financed it throughout the world. This list includes Yemen, Syria, Egypt, and Moorish Spain. The upper sleeve was the most visible place for these borders, also they can be found on the body of the garment. Ceremonials and shrouds were also created to adorn this fabric. The present ruler’s name and religious phrases were marked on the walls of the king’s palace. High court officials wore this fabric and claimed themselves as honorific robes.

Compound woven silk fabric factories and Tiraz workshops were introduced in Spain in the 8th century. It was after the Moorish conquest of Spain. Soon Spanish started making Islamic themes on fabrics. The theme included stylish floral designs and geometric patterns. Contrasting colors were existing in Spanish textiles which had a wide range of designs.

Ottoman Silk

From the fourteenth century, Bursa became the Ottoman empire’s significant silk for manufacturing. It was the one producing high-quality silk fabrics. Silk from the Ottoman empire was known for its large-scale designs and vibrant colors. Ottoman textile affected the Italian silk design which was not surely always the case. A large number of such designs showed Ottoman miniature paintings and tile designs. Three concentric circles are the frequent design element with wavy lines. The Ottoman repertory has some other parts known as Voided velvet and other complex weaves. Another notable fine silk embroidery was Ottoman silk art which was done on linen, velvet, silk, and cotton.

Exquisite silk and Persian textiles

In the Islamic world, Safavid Iran produced some of the finest silk in the world. There were some popular Islamic hubs in different centuries like Yazad in the fifteenth century, Isfahan in the sixteenth century, and Kashan in the seventeenth century. Persian silk was famous due to voided velvets, beautiful needlework, and sophisticated compound weaving. Miniature painting was employed in Persian textiles which use different human and animal figures in different poses. Persian fabric was also known for its silk embroidery and georgette fabric was also popular among people.


Silk has been popular in the textile world since ancient times. During historical times, it was considered the royal fabric but now it is in high demand by all types of people. Apart from silk, more fabrics like seersucker, cotton, and georgette material like georgette fabric are also popular. If you are looking for a great silk fabric supplier that is popular these days, you can easily find it online and can make deals. You can order all types of fabrics and different blend art online today.

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