Shawl

shawl
Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Shawl
Place Made: Africa: North Africa, Morocco or Europe: Western Europe, Iberia, Spain
Period: 16th to 17th century
Date: 1500 - 1699
Dimensions: L 194 cm x W 116 cm
Materials: Silk; metal thread
Techniques: Brocaded; plain woven
ID Number: T87.0583
Credit: Gift of Thomas Kalman

Silk weaving in Maghreb, particularly in the famous workshops of Fez, Morocco, was a distinctive large-scale urban production. Maghreb silk fabrics, furnishing materials and shawls were exported to Europe, Asia and trans-Saharan Africa. The silks were woven in workshops on large drawlooms operated by male weavers and assistants, who were organized and controlled by guilds. The drawloom’s mechanism stored several designs at once, so the operator could easily shift from one design to another on the same object. Intricate geometric and abstract designs were inherited from the flourishing art traditions of Andalusia, and reflected artistic canons of international Islamic culture.