More links for you today on carpets.

A lovely intro to the Islamic art style is here on a V&A microsite.

I’ve never found this site before – why do they seem to hide them away?


An introduction to Islamic Carpets can be found here.

Below are a few examples of the very best from the C16-C17th.

“Star Ushak” carpet, Ottoman period, late 15th century
Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

L. 166 in. (421.6 cm), W. 91 1/2 in. (232.4 cm)


My brain is already seeing some of these designs interpreted in a contemporary textile way.
The girls who went to Grasmere will know what I mean…. think J&J…..

Vegetal patterns were seen throughout the areas under study and in pre-Islamic times were very naturalistic, becoming more stylized and abstracted in the 11th-13th centuries then returning to a more naturalistic style – with Chinese influences.  By the early 16th century ornamentation in the Ottoman Empire is naturalistic with tulips, rose buds, carnations depicted.  You can see more on this here. The Mughal empire loved its flowers of course.

A truly wonderful carpet is in the V&A Museum, London. 

Carpet - The Ardabil CarpetCarpet - The Ardabil Carpet

The Ardabil Carpet

  • 1539-1540 (made)

    Hand knotted woollen pile, on silk warp and weft; asymmetrical knot, open to the left; average of 340 knots per sq. in (average of 5300 per sq. dm)

And if you thought that was good….

Carpet with scrolling vines and blossoms, Mughal period, ca. 1650
Northern India or Pakistan, Kashmir or Lahore

Silk (warp and weft), pashmina wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile

L. 163 3/4 in. (415.9 cm), W. 66 in. (167.6 cm)


Can you imagine over a thousand knots per inch?  That’s how some of these carpets are constructed.

Islamic Arts

I am so enjoying this course, (along with Astrobiology and Modern World History via Coursera) its not leaving me much time for the studio, but then its so cold and muddy out there that I am happy sitting inside reading and watching videos with some hand stitching on occasional evenings.
I thought I would start jotting down some good links here, for those who are interested.
For a virtual tour of a classic domed mosque complex in Istanbul go here.  Its is a fabulous website showing the Suleymaniye Complex, built between 1550-7.
A Walking Virtual Tour: The Suleymaniye Mosque - Photographed by Barry Gross and Michael Gross
And then we got to the Mughal art such as the Badshaahi Mosque in Lahore.  The style of the arches, the internal decoration… I don’t know why but I find it so utterly enthralling and beautiful.

Then we were directed to the sub-Saharan African style and I wondered about the fate of this mosque in Timbuktu, with regards to recent events there.

And for a truly beautiful Illuminated Manuscript take a look here
For me the artwork is the important part, not the religion, though of course there is a respect for the importance of this book to the Islamic Culture.  When I head to London in March / April I must go and see this for myself.
I’m always drawn to Mughal ornamentation and for another stunning page look at this image here, click on the image and you zoom in.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This is one of my favourite pages.  Reminds me of Elizabethan gardens and embroidery of the time.
Christie's | Fine Art Auction House
Next week “Painting and figural representation in Islam”