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Old March 26th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #2
Filiberto Boncompagni
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 96

I received by John Howe a further contribution on animals in rugs and textiles.
The text and image are from a book on Hispano-Moresque Fabrics by Cyril G. E. Bunt, 1966.

Hispano-Moresque Fabrics

In the all-too brief survey of Persian textiles which accompanied the volume
devoted to that subject in the present series we mentioned in passing that, in the seventh
century, the conquest of Iran by the semitic Arabs, resulted in the creation of an inter-
national style which appealed to all Islamic peoples.

In this volume we present a compendium of HIispano-Moresque woven fabrics the
inspiration of which was derived from this Near Eastern source. Its widespread vogue in
the Spanish Peninsula, radically different from the range of tissues developed under
western influence demands separate treatment.

As early as the fifth century textiles of a style allied to the Sassanian were to be found in
the markets of Westmn Europe, notably at Arles and Toulouse. And the merchants of
Spain were by no means ignorant ofthe sartorial appeal of these imports. There is literary
evidence that, as the seventh century, rich silks were among the precious imports reaching
Merida and Seville. Silk culture was not introduced into Spain until after the Islamic
invasion in the early eighth century. The conquest of Cadiz, Merida, Toledo and other
centres of Andalusia resulted in them being soon settled by groups of skilled craftsmen,
including weavers, and the silks of Cordoba were famous under the Western Caliphare,
which was established in the year 756.
Sericulture is recorded in the Peninsula early in the eighth century and Spanish silks are
recorded among the vestments at the Vatican under the Pontificate of Gregory IV and
Leo IV. Miss Florence Lewis May (to whose Hispanic Society monograph I am much
indebted for much valuable information), records many instances of the prevalence in
Spain of the Iranian factory system called "Tiraz" throughout the succeeding centuries. The
first establishment on this Near Eastern pattern was in Cordoba in the ninth century. By
the time of Abd el-Rahman I (821-852) the weaving craft had been adopted into the
administrative system and their products were actually being exported to Iran during the
reign of the third Abd el-Rahman [912-961). By this time groups of silk weavers were
established in Leon as well as Cordoba and small factories were springing up throughout
Spain in important centres of population.
Tiraz (the word is applied to a silk material as well) was a valuable commodity in the
West Caliphate, included among diplomatic gifts to foreign courts and embassies and also
received by the Treasury as part payment of tribute.

Notice the border…

Thanks John,

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