The Coptic Legacy
Christian Egyptians were known as Copts. They continued to dominate the textile industry after the Muslim conquest of Egypt, working in the materials and techniques most familiar to them. Imported silks from Sasanian Iran and Byzantium, woven on the drawloom, were copied in linen and wool using the much simpler technique of tapestry-weaving.
The production of textiles under Muslim rule saw Coptic weavers gradually adapt to the new tiraz style. Familiar with Roman and Byzantine designs, they were responsible for introducing these into the Islamic art of Egypt. Often the imagery includes Christian motifs, such as the cross or figures with arms held out in prayer (orans).
Centennial Government Partners