© Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia © Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia © Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia © Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Name of Object:

Silk lampas robe


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Holding Museum:

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia


Hegira 1st-2nd century/ AD 7th-8th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Stitched and woven with fine red, green, blue and cream silk threads


143 x 263cm


Central Asia


This monumental silk lampas robe from Sogdiana, carbon dated to the seventh to eighth century, has raised theories regarding its role and function. In religious context, this silk fabric was known to wrap religious text or relics, and bodies for burial purposes. In diplomatic relation, the weft fabric functioned as diplomatic gifts, or tailored into costumes for government officials. This silk robe presents us an image of the luxurious textiles traded between China, Central Asia and Persia.

The Sassanians used to weave their own designs on silk - elaborate repeating motifs of heraldic animal and human elements with interlocking plant enclosed within a pearl-like roundel - which achieved popularity in Central Asia. The Sogdians are known to weave motifs specific to their target market by appealing to ethnic and culture, religious purposes or the ruling elite. By the eighth century, Sassanian motifs were brought into being as both imported goods and locally-produced reproduction especially from Sogdiana.

Selected bibliography:

Watt, J. C. Y., When Silk Was Gold : Central Asian and Chinese Textiles, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art in cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1997. Kadoi, Y., Islamic Chinoiserie: the Art of Mongol Iran, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Rees, B.R., Jervis, M.E., Lampas: a new approach to Greek, Oxford: Blackwell, 1970.

Citation of this web page:

 "Silk lampas robe" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;my;Mus21;5;en&id=clothing_and_costume

MWNF Working Number: MY1 05

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