Silks and Carpets for High Society

In traditional Near-Eastern society, the fashion leader was the King, Shah, Sultan, or local ruler who, according to the ideals of the time, would maintain an artistic establishment employing poets, artists, musicians, and a great variety of skilled craftsmen to produce items of the highest quality for use by the royal court, such as weapons, clothes, and animal trappings. Courtly styles were closely followed by people of lesser means, who were always keen to stay in fashion. High on the list of desirable items were silk textiles, produced by the most advanced technology of the times, which were often the most expensive items in circulation.


Rugs and carpets were produced at every level of society; however those destined for the royal court were carefully designed in the prevailing courtly style, and woven by skilled craftsmen under the direction of the ruler’s staff, using the most costly materials available. Owing to the perishable nature of the materials, very few such carpets have survived.