Tiraz Textile Fragment

Object Name: Tiraz fragment

Date: late 9th–early 10th century

Geography: Attributed to Yemen

Medium: Cotton, ink, and gold; plain weave, resist-dyed (ikat), painted
Inscription: black ink and gold leaf; painted

Dimensions: Textile: L. 23 in. (58.4 cm)
W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Mount: L. 27 1/2 in. (69.9 cm)
W. 21 in. (53.3 cm)
D. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
Wt. 8 lbs. (3.6 kg)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Gift of George D. Pratt, 1929

Accession Number: 29.179.9


The striped textiles of Yemen were famous throughout the Islamic world. They were made in the resist‑dyed ikat technique to form patterns of arrowheads and diamonds. Inscriptions on Yemeni ikats are often painted, as in this example. Such inscribed textiles were called tiraz, from the Persian word meaning "embroidery." They were produced in tiraz workshops under royal control. Such textiles usually bore inscriptions naming the current ruler or caliph to whom the recipient owed loyalty. Tiraz textiles were presented by rulers as robes of honor at formal ceremonies.