Textiles, Carpets, and Leather

Woven textiles have always played an important role in Islamic society and in many cases were among the most prestigious and costly luxury goods.

Technically, textiles ranged from fairly simple tabby and tapestry weaves, through ikat, lampas, and samitum fabrics, to highly complex metal-brocaded velvets. In addition, there were embroidered, printed, and other types of fabrics.

Different materials were also used: plant fibers such as linen and cotton, wool from sheep and goats, silk, and finally various kinds of “metal thread.”

Pile carpets of wool, cotton, or silk – commonly called Oriental carpets – are justifiably associated almost exclusively with the Middle East, from which they were exported to the entire world.

Tanned animal skins were used to make parchment and leather of different types.