© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name of Object:

Tiraz textile fragment from an ikat shawl


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Hegira second half 3rd–early 4th century / AD late 9th–early 10th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

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


Textile: L: 58.4cm, W: 40.6cm; Mount: L: 69.9cm, W: 53.3cm, D: 2.2cm, Wt: 8lbs, 3.6kg

Period / Dynasty:





Striped textiles from Yemen were famous in medieval times throughout the Islamic world. They were made in the ikat technique, in which cotton warp threads were bundled together and resist-dyed before being arranged on the loom to form striped lozenge patterns. The regularity of the weave and the fineness of the cotton threads of this tiraz attest to its status as a luxury object. The gilded inscription in a highly stylised floriated and interlaced kufic script includes the line “Dominion belongs to Him [God].”

How Object was obtained:

Gift of George D. Pratt, 1929

Former owner: George D. Pratt, New York (until 1929; gifted to MMA)

Selected bibliography:

Ali, Wijdan, The Arab Contribution to Islamic Art : From the Seventh to the Fifteenth Centuries, Jordan: The Royal Society of Fine Arts Jordan, 1999: 110, ill. fig. 62 (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Canby, Sheila R., Haidar, Navina and Soucek, Priscilla P. (eds), Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011: 5, 52, no. 29, ill. 52 (colour).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, How to Read Islamic Calligraphy, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018: 122–23, no. 32, ill.
Ettinghausen, Richard (ed), The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Berlin: Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin, 1981: 56–57, no. 15, ill. 57 (b/w).
Schimmel, Annemarie, "Islamic Calligraphy", Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. New Series, 50/1 (Summer 1992): 14, ill. fig. 16 (colour).
Welch, Stuart Cary, The Islamic World. Vol. 11, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987: 27, ill. fig. 15 (colour).

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of George D. Pratt, 1929

Citation of this web page:

 "Tiraz textile fragment from an ikat shawl" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;us;Mus23;14;en&id=clothing_and_costume

MWNF Working Number: US3 14

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