Man's shirt - ROM2014_13821_9


Man's shirt

Geography: Egypt
Period: Early Islamic
Date: 8th-12th Century
Medium: Fine linen tabby trimmed in silk twill
108 x 183.5 cm
Credit Line: The Walter Massey Collection
Object number: 910.1.9
Not on view

The shirt is woven on a horizontal loom. The body comes from one length folded, and is shaped by cutting out a section under each arm, and widening from there to the hem. Each sleeve is made from a half width with the addition at the underarm of the piece cut from either side of the body. The shirt has deep shoulders and long full sleeves with deep undersleeve gusset. The skirt flares at the sides. The neck opening and cuffs are bound with Byzantine silk with an indistinct figure in green and ivory. There is a neck opening tie cord on the left side. It is mounted on muslin.

This simple but beautifully shaped shirt is a rare and unusual piece. It is made of fine linen of uniform weave, luxuriously trimmed in silk around the neck opening and cuffs. Everything suggests that this was a high-end garment, but it is hard to find a comparable piece — especially with such bouffant sleeves. Elements like the narrow body and gently flared skirt are reminiscent of Sasanian garments, but nothing quite like this has survived. For now, this garment remains a bit of a mystery!

  • Textiles & Costume of the Indian Ocean, Africa & the Islamic World
  • Islamic World
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.