Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Tab from a banner with circles containing a diamond-shape


    • currently in research collection

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Publications online

  • Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt by Marianne Ellis

    Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt

    The type of appliqué or applied work on this tab is sometimes called ‘onlay’ patchwork. The technique has been practiced in Cairo for hundreds of years, especially for tents and hangings, and work continues to this day in the street of the tentmakers near Bab al-Zuwayla. The top layer of fabric is like a frame, with half and quarter circle shapes cut from one piece of fabric and stitched to the backing. Two circles enclosing diamond shapes were then applied individually to the background fabric and small Z shapes and central diamonds added to complete the design. The diamond shapes are emblems representing the napkin of the master of the robes, signifying that the tab once decorated an amir’s accoutrements.

    The construction of openwork bars along the top of the tab is different from those forming a lattice above the pair of tabs, No. 51 [EA1984.35]. Instead of inserting a strip of linen and withdrawing the weft threads, here the worker fastened long threads between a band of fabric and the top of the tab and then needlewove them into pairs of bars. This would have allowed cords to be slotted through the holes.
  • The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries by Ruth Barnes and Marianne Ellis

    The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries

    A tab with white appliqué on a white ground, showing two complete and four partial circles, each containing a diamond.

    The top of the tab has eight pairs of open string worked with needle weaving, to connect to an additional narrow band of plain fabric. The open work was probably made to allow for a band to be laced through, possibly for tieing up the tab. See also EA1984.35.

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