The History of Persian Embroidery

Roxāne Fārabī Shazadeh

 

With special thanks to Jennifer Davis, Leah Lloyd, and LeeAnn Posovad for their editing assistance.

 

Persia. The name invokes images of mystery and beauty. At one time this great empire stretched from Turkey to Afghanistan and from the edge of India to the borders of Armenia.  For hundreds of years, Persian artisans were some of the best the world had to offer. Goods and artisans were highly desired throughout the medieval world.  Persian embroidery was no exception.

 

During the middle ages, Persian embroidery was primarily completed at home by women. (Plate 1) As small girls, Persians were taught the delicate manipulation of silk floss into complex, breathtaking designs. [1] In many areas of modern day Iran and Iraq, embroidery still plays an important role in the daily lives of these modern day Persians. [2] However, much of the fineness and skill has been lost to time, leaving us with many questions. [3]

 

How did this beautiful craft develop?

 

What are its origins and techniques?

 

To discover the answer to these questions, we must follow the paths left by the Persians. This can be a difficult task. Persian history has always been very tumultuous, with frequent changes in leadership leading to loss of much of its history.[4] Very few embroidered pieces from the early and late middle ages have survived to the twentieth century.[5] This combined with the closure of Iran to the West for political reasons in the twentieth century has left little archeological data available for study.

 

There are a limited number of extant examples from the 16th and 17th century. [6] During this time frame, Shah Abbas I (ruler of Persia from 1587-1629) was attempting to increase trade with Europe; therefore many gifts were sent to foreign rulers.  In addition, private collectors began to collect Persian artifacts. This has left a body of artifacts to study that were preserved primarily in countries other than Iran.

 

We must rely on limited eyewitness accounts to trace the history of embroidery in Persia earlier than the 16th century. Marco Polo (who traveled through Persia to China in the thirteenth century) described embroidery in silk being completed by the ladies of Kerman (the region comprising the northeast corner of Iran);

 

 The ladies of the country and their daughters also produce exquisite needlework in the embroidery of silk stuffs in different colours, with figures of beasts and birds, trees and flowers, and a variety of other patterns.  They work hangings for the use of noblemen so deftly that they are marvels to see, as well as cushions, pillows, quilts, and all sorts of things.”[7]

 

Another eyewitness account from Byzantine Ambassadors to Baghdad describes embroidery in Persia during 917 A.D.

 

The number of the hangings in the Palaces of the Caliphs was thirty-eight thousand.  These were curtains of gold--of brocade embroidered with gold—all magnificently figured with representations of drinking vessels, and with elephants and horses, camels, lions, and birds…”[8]

 

The earliest dated needlework that has been found is from the 5th or 4th century B.C. (Plate 1a) This colorful felt saddle cover was apparently worked in chain stitch and appliqué. [9] It is likely that embroidery was done in Persia even earlier than that.  

 

A thousand years later, Alexander the Great (who conquered Persia in 3000 B.C.) was apparently

 

“…amazed at the splendor of the embroideries he found there. To show his countrymen…he sent home the embroidered tent of Darius. [referring to Darius the Great, who ruled Persia at that time].”[10]

 

During the Sassanian Dynasty (The Persian dynasty that ruled from 226 AD to 652 AD), the surviving sculptures and metalwork show figures with decoration in raised relief. However, it is not known if this is embroidery or silk-weavings.[11] Considering the embroidered saddle cover mentioned above, it is likely that the Sassanians embroidered as well.

 

 In the 9th Century, the Arabs conquered Persia, bringing tirāz (a Persian term meaning to embroider which later became the name of items with inscriptions on them and the workshops where they were made) embroidery with them. [12] (Plate 2) Ibn Khaldun described the importance of tirāz in the fourteenth century:

 

“Royal garments are embroidered with such a tirāz, in order to increase the prestige of the ruler or the person of lower rank who wears such a garment, or in order to increase the prestige of those whom the ruler distinguishes by bestowing upon them his own garment when he wants to honor them… [13]

 

These inscriptions usually included praises to God along with praises for the current ruler and in some cases included the date and name of the workshop which made the garment. State run workshops called tirāz al-khassā completed items for the court. Private workshops called tirāz al-‘āmma completed garments for wealthy individuals. [14] According to Marianne Ellis, author of Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt, by the 11th century tirāz embroidery:

 

“…became increasingly elaborate while the calligraphy became less important and in some cases the letter forms became patterns with no meaning.”[15]

 

Tirāz completed in Persia was mostly completed in chain (known as pīĉ, zelleh, naqšeh, or golāb in Farsī),[16] modified chain or stem stitch.[17] It is distinguished from tirāz completed in Egypt by the type of silk floss and cotton[18] ground cloth used called mulham.[19]

 

During the later medieval period, two main styles of embroidery were done in Persia.  In the first, the entire surface of the ground cloth (usually loose, woven cotton) was covered in stitches.  This embroidery mimicked weaving and primarily was completed in the State-run workshops.[20] It was not unusual for design elements used for carpets to be seen in embroidery from the same workshops.[21] Within this category there are three main types.

 

The first type is called musaif. The musaif variety of all-over embroidery is completed in double-darning (known as goldūz) [22] and double-running stitch. It is attributed to the city of Isfahan. (Plate 3)  Musaif embroidery is seen primarily in the 16th and 17th century. There is a 16th century wall hanging in the Textile Museum of Washington D.C. picturing a seen from the love story of Zulahkha and Yusuf that is an example of this type of embroidery. [23]  According to A.F. Kendrick, former curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, darning stitch:

 

“…is the commonest stitch in Asia Minor work, a fact which might suggest some connection between those embroideries and that quarter of the Near East...”[24]

 

 On this particular wall hanging, a variation of a herring bone stitch was used to fill in the tree trunks.

 

There are variations of Musaif completed in other parts of the country such as the Caucasus region (comprises modern day Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan). [25]   There are two several wall hangings in the Victoria Albert Museum that are dated to the 17th century, which are an example of Musaif completed in the style of the Caucasus Region. (Plate 4) They were also completed in a double-darning stitch. [26] The design is primarily geometric in nature, which is typical of both carpets and embroidery from the Caucasus region.

 

Another version of tapestry work was called zileh, or naqšeh. This embroidery was used on the deep cuffs of women’s pants and was usually patterned in diagonal stripes of flowers. The name naqšeh became the name of these types of trousers. Usually this type of embroidery was completed in silk floss on a fine cotton ground, though occasionally, pieces in wool were completed. [27] They were embroidered using the tent stitch. [28] This miniature from the Freer Gallery of Art,  painted in the late 16th century shows a woman wearing a pair of naqšeh. (Plate 5); however, the extant examples are all from the 17th and 18th century. [29]  The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a fine example from the 18th century. (Plate 6) The extant examples have been disassembled and stretched so that they could be re-used as covers for various household items, making it difficult to discern the original construction of the trousers. [30]

 

There is a Mamluk (An Islamic dynasty that ruled Egypt and Syria from 1250 to 1517 A.D.) era trouser leg completed in pattern darning in running stitch that may represent the pre-cursor to naqšeh trousers. The embroidery is completed in diagonal rows, much the same as naqšeh. [31] (Plate 7)  This piece when combined with the pictorial evidence in Persian miniatures, may suggest that naqšeh were worn much earlier than the examples from the 17th through 18th centuries. Carol Bier, Project Director for a Persian textile exhibit and book held at the Textile Museum in the late 1980’s, suggests that they were worn by

 

“…well-to-do women by the mid-sixteenth century...” [32]  

 

The third style of all-over work embroidery seen in Persia is called Rašt (pronounced “Resht”), referring to an area of Northern Persia.[33]  Rašt is a type of appliqué work which was used to make saddle cloths (‘araq-gīr), wall hangings (rūdāvārā) and cushion covers (rūbāleš).[34]  Small slips of flannel wool (mahout) are sewn into a pattern onto a cotton or wool foundation.[35] Chain, buttonhole and featherstitches are used to attach the slips. This type of embroidery is still done in Rašt today, in much the same fashion it was done in the 17th century.  According to Hans Wulff, the embroidery is worked in the following fashion:

 

The embroiderer (gol-dūz [or] golab-dūz) of Rašt hold the cloth (mahūt) in a wooden clamp (gerīdeh [or] jerīdeh) that rests on one of their legs while they press it down with the other.  The design has been traced on the cloth with chalk (naqš bā rang kašīdan). The embroiderer takes a crochet hook (golāb [or] sūzan) with a wooden handle and pierces it through the cloth (forū kardan). Holding the embroidery thread (nah) on the reverse side of the cloth, he grips it with the crochet hook (nah pīĉ kardan) and pulls a loop formed by it to the front (nah az dast-e cap gereftan [or] bālā raftan), and with this thread loop still around the hook, pierces through the cloth again, gripping the thread underneath, and pulling the next loop up, and so on, the producing the chain stitch (pīĉ). Much of the surface of the cloth is covered in this way.  Often the design includes differently colored pieces of cloth applied to the base of the material with these stitches.”[36]

 

The designs were often very complicated. (Plate 8) The extant examples of this type of embroidery are all from the 17th, 18th and 19th century. [37] However, that does not exclude the possibility that it may have been completed earlier than that. There are examples of inlay patchwork completed in Mamluk Egypt in the 14th century, which may have been the precursor to Rašt work in Persia. [38] (Plate 9)

 

According to Jay Gluck, former head of the Handicrafts Organization of Iran, there was an older form called tikeh-duzi in which;

 

“…patchwork in bands of different colored materials frame the central motif; appliqué work constituted various elements of the designs, i.e., different colors for petals of flowers, feathers of birds. The designs are elaborate and rich—botehs in rows, beautiful floral sprays with birds in scrolling branches. Some older pieces have busts of women and men in medallions. This chain stitch on velvet or leather saddle cloths, cushion covers, table covers, wall hangings, bed covers and garments. This has traditionally been men’s work and still is.”[39]

 

Mr. Gluck goes on to mention another related type of embroidery, which is also an “older form” of tikeh-duzi called landareh-duzi. In this type, the pieces of cloth are joined like patchwork not appliqué like Rašt work. Sir John Chardin, a French jeweler who visited Persia in the late 17th century, described landareh-duzi being completed in the city of Isfahan.

 

 “…Mosaick-Work , representing what  they please, and all of it so neatly sowed, that you would think the Figures are Painted, tho’ ‘tis all of it but Patch’d-Work; the seam of them is not seen if you look at it never so near, they are drawn so curiously fine.”[40]

 

The second main style of embroidery used the ground cloth to accent the embroidery.  There are several variations of this “brocade” style embroidery. Several different stitches and techniques were used. Chain stitch (known as pīĉ)[41], which according to Phyllis Ackerman came in with

 

“…the wave of Far Eastern influence that accompanied Timur [Mongolian ruler of Persia in the 14th century],” [42]

  

Stem and shaded satin stitch (another Chinese embroidery style) were both completed in silk floss. Chain stitch was primarily used as an outline or to fill in solid surfaces. There is a 17th century example in the Pope-Ackerman Collection of chain stitch embroidery in Persia which is an elegant design reminiscent of Chinese embroidery. (Plate 10)  If the embroidery is completed entirely in chain stitch, then it is called golāb-dūzi. [43] The shaded satin stitch was used to fill surfaces and was completed primarily on satin. (Plate 11) Couching of gold and silver threads was another variation of the satin stitch. [44]  (Plate 12) Stem stitch could also be seen with shaded satin stitch. The stem stitch is used as an outline, with the object being filled in with the shaded satin stitch. [45]

 

Pattern darning is another example in this category. Running stitch was used to complete the pattern on garments and in wall hangings and covers. Double-running and running stitch are used to pattern darn a “Tree of Life” pattern on a 14th century pirahan (shirt). [46] (Plate 13)

 

There are tribal type embroideries that fall into this category as well. A late 13th/early 14th century Turcoman (a group of people who lived in western Persia) roundel located in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is an example of this. It is embroidered in silk on linen in satin stitch with couched threads over top the satin stitches to anchor them. [47] (Plate 14)

 

Needlelace embroidery bears mentioning when discussing Persian embroidery. During various time periods, parts of Armenia have been controlled by the current Persian Dynasty. Throughout all time periods, trade was brisk between Persia and Armenia. Many Persian goods passed through Armenia on their way to Russia and vice versa.[48]

 

Needlelace has been executed in Armenia since Ancient Times. (Plate 15) Plate 16 is a drawing from Armenian Needlelace, this brooch dates to the Urartu civilization. Urartu was an empire located in Anatolia. While not many extent examples have survived due to the delicacy of this art, there are statues, miniature paintings and stone carvings that depict lace. [49]   The majority of Anatolia was part of the Ottoman Empire throughout most of the middle ages, however, parts of it were Persian territory. Regardless of who controlled the territory, trade was brisk between Persia and Anatolia throughout the middle ages. Armenian needlelace, called janyak, was probably introduced into Persia sometime during the middle ages as well as Europe. This 12th or 13th century statue shows lace edging this nobleman’s coat that looks very similar to the lace edging the Queen of Urartu’s veil in Plate 16. [50] (Plate17)

 

Any discourse on Persian embroidery would not be complete without a mention of white work. White work is still done in Persia today and probably dates until at least the 16th or 17th century. Delicate stitches are completed in white silk on white cotton. The contrast of the materials provides the subtle design. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has several examples that range in date from the 16th through the 20th century.[51]

 

Persians embroidered many items, including leather, wall hangings, divan coverings, prayer mats, presentation cloths and garments. [52] The primary decorations on clothing were the elaborate woven brocades available in Persia throughout the medieval period; however embroidery was used as well. In some cases, only small parts of the garment were embroidered; other times the entire garment was embroidered. [53] (Plate18) Plate 18 shows a detail view of a rūyi qāba (coat) in which the entire surface is embroidered in a repeat of the pattern shown.

 

In miniatures, the most common use of embroidery seen on clothing was embroidered cloud collars and perhaps a band around the bottom of the skirt.  Cloud Collars are collars that are worn around the neck of a katībī or a rūyi qāba (both are types of coats worn during Persians during the middle ages). They usually covered the entire top of the garment, extending from the front edge to mid-back and from the neck to cover the tops of the shoulders. (Plate 19)

 

Cloud Collars originated in China and were brought to Persia by their Mongol conquerors during the 13th century. The Mongols used them as ceremonial collars, while the Persian nobility adopted them for everyday use.[54] The designs for Cloud Collars (as well as most embroidery) originated from carpets and wall hangings. Many carpets and wall hangings had a Cloud Collars as their central design.[55] They were almost always of nature, with birds, flowers and animals part of the design.[56]

 

 A 16th century cloud collar in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is another example of “brocade” style embroidery. (Plate 19) Originally the figures were embroidered on red satin, with the ground showing through. Some time in the 17th century, the red satin was covered with green, silk embroidery perhaps as an attempt at restoration. [57]

 

Metal threads (either silver or gold) were also used extensively in Persian embroidery. The metal thread usually had a silk core, though there is some evidence of linen or cotton cores used as well. [58] There were three main types of gold and silver thread used in Persia. The first type developed during the Middle Ages. A thin, flat wire was spiraled around a silk or linen core. This is the most expensive type as the thread requires a great deal of metal.  The second type, gilded leather thread, made its way into Persia from China with the Mongol conquest in the 13th century.  This type of thread was made by gilding thin strips of leather which were then spun around silk or linen cores. The third type, gilded paper strips, was used primarily during the period Timur ruled Persia. It was dependant upon the accessibility of Chinese paper, which became difficult to obtain in the later medieval period. Mulberry bark was gilded, cut into strips and interwoven with silk. Gilded paper strips were primarily used for weaving, not embroidery.[59]

 

Persians embroidered primarily with silk floss.  The silk floss was usually plied, with either an S or Z twist being used.[60]  Silk was a large industry in Persia since at least Sassanian times. According to writings by geographer Ibn Hauqal (977 A.D.), the silk worms were originally brought into Persia from Central Asia through Tabāristān on the Caspian Sea.[61]

 

The silk floss was dyed many brilliant colors. Lac gum, cochineal and kermes produced vibrant reds and pinks. Both cochineal and kermes dyes are produced from the body of insects. Cochineal comes from the female body of Coccus cati. Its use in Persia dates to at least the 8th century, though it is probably much older than that. Kermes comes from the insect Kermococcus vermilio.  This dye dates pre-historic times, having been introduced into Assyria in 1100 B.C.[62]

 

Deeper reds and browns were produced from Madder. Madder is obtained from the roots of the plant Rubia tinctorum. This dye is as at least as old as 3000 B.C. It was even known in Europe up until the end of Roman rule (4th century A.D.), and then had a resurgence during the Crusades (11th through 13th century).[63]

 

Cinibar was used to produce orange and red-oranges.  It was often used along with other dyes and is made from a resin imported from India. Kamela also produced the same range of red to orange dyes but was specifically used only for silk. Kamela comes from the glands of a tree, called Mallotus Philipennsis.[64]

 

Indigo was used almost exclusively to produce blues. When the color was dark blue, it was called surmeh’ī. Light blue produced from Indigo was called ābī. This dye came from India. It has been known in Egypt since 2500 B.C. and was introduced into Mesopotamia in the seventh century.[65]

 

Safflower, saffron, turmeric, sumāq and pomegranite skins were used to produce shades of yellow. Safflower was known in Egypt, Crete and Phoenicia. It has been grown in those areas as well as Persia since ancient times. Turmeric, also known as “Indian Saffron,” was introduced into Persia from India. Sumāq is obtained from a tree grown in Persia since the time of the Sumerians (3000 B.C.). It is mainly used to dye silk, and to tan and color leather.[66] A powder made from pomegranate skins has been used as a dye, mordant and tanning agent since 1500 B.C. in Egypt and in Mesopotamia since 2000 B.C. Either area could have introduced its use into Persia.[67]

 

Green dyes came from a variety of sources. It came from plants (Rhamnuc chlorophorus or Rhamnus utilis), copper sulfate, and combining indigo with a yellow dye (this is the first man-made dye)[68]. The dye made from indigo is known as “Prophet’s Green.”[69]

 

Blacks and browns came from the green skins of walnuts. Black also came from a combination of indigo and henna.[70] Along with walnuts, acorn skins, ground pomegranate rinds, bole[71], Japan wood, and Brazil woods were also used to produce brown. Persian dyers were some of the most sophisticated in the medieval world, producing colors of great vibrancy and complexity.[72]

 

Color had meaning as well. Blue signified the sky or eternity. For those of Mongolian descent it also signified strength.  Yellow was a symbol of piety and therefore was the color of the robes of dervishes (religious men).  White was the color of sorrow. [73] The shade of green known as “Prophet’s Green” was considered holy and was rarely used for embroidery.[74] If black was used, it was used as an accent color, as black was considered the color of the devil or bad luck.[75]

 

While the stitches used were simple, the designs were as varied and complicated as the Persian carpets woven at the time. Flowers, dragons, birds, animals, arabesques and geometric shapes were common.  The colors were bright, leaping off the embroidered piece. It is rare to find a piece with only one or two colors of thread.  Patrons cared a great deal about the color used for the commissioned piece, often demanding only the purest of colors.[76] This embroidery rivaled the carpets of the time for both its beauty and complexity. 



[1] Domestic Culture in the Middle East: An Exploration of the Household Interior, Jennifer Scarce, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1996, Pg. 104

[2] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pgs. 217-219

[3] A Brief Guide to Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937 , Pg. 5

[4] Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran, Elaine Sciolino, Simon & Schuster, 2000

[5] Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937

[6] The Arts of Persia, R.W. Ferrier, editor, Hossein Amirsadeghi, 1989, Pg. 166

[7] The Travels of Marco Polo, Book I, Rusticiano of Pisa as told to him by Marco Polo, Pg. 90

[8] “Increase the Prestige: Islamic Textiles”, Louise W. Mackie, Arts of Asia, Volume 26, Number 1, The Textile Museum, Pg. 86

[9] A Survey of Persian Handicraft: A Pictorial Introduction to the Contemporary Folk Arts and Art Crafts of Modern Iran, Jay Gluck and Sumi Hiramoto Gluck, editors, The Bank Melli Iran, 1977, Pg. 217

[10] A Survey of Persian Handicraft: A Pictorial Introduction to the Contemporary Folk Arts and Art Crafts of Modern Iran, Jay Gluck and Sumi Hiramoto Gluck, editors, The Bank Melli Iran, 1977, Pg. 217

[11] A Brief Guide to Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937

[12] Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Eqypt, Marianne Ellis, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001, pg. 1

[13] “Increase the Prestige: Islamic Textiles”, Louise W. Mackie, Arts of Asia, Volume 26, Number 1, The Textile Museum, Pg. 84

[14] The Arts of Persia, R.W. Ferrier, editor, Hossein Amirsadeghi, 1989, Pg. 154

[15] Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Eqypt, Marianne Ellis, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001, pg. 6

[16] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 219

[17] Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Eqypt, Marianne Ellis, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001, pg. 6

[18] “Increase the Prestige: Islamic Textiles”, Louise W. Mackie, Arts of Asia, Volume 26, Number 1, The Textile Museum, Pg. 84

[19] The Arts of Persia, R.W. Ferrier, editor, Hossein Amirsadeghi, 1989, Pg. 154

[20] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 4

[21] Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937

[22] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 219

[23] Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart, Carol Bier, editor, Textile Museum, Washington D.C., 1987, pg. 180

[24] Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937, Pg. 4

[25] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 4

[26] "Increase the Prestige, Islamic Textiles", The Arts of Asia, volume 26, no. 1, Louise W. Mackie, The Textile Museum, 1996

[27] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 5

[28] A Survey of Persian Handicraft: A Pictorial Introduction to the Contemporary Folk Arts and Art Crafts of Modern Iran, Jay Gluck and Sumi Hiramoto Gluck, editors, The Bank Melli Iran, 1977, Pg. 226

[29] Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937, Pg 7, When Silk was Gold; Central Asian and Chinese Textiles, James C.Y. Watt, Anne E. Wardwell, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997, Persian Poetry, Painting and Patronage: Illustrations in a Sixteenth Century Masterpiece. Marianna Shreve Simpson, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1998

[30] Persian Embroidery at the Exhibition in Burlington House, 1931, Pantheon 7, May 1931, pgs. 211-15. I am grateful to Mistress Anna Dimitriova for the translation from German.

[31] Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Eqypt, Marianne Ellis, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001, pg. 20

[32] Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart, Carol Bier, editor, Textile Museum, Washington D.C., 1987, pg. 268

[33] Persian Embroidery at the Exhibition in Burlington House, 1931, Pantheon 7, May 1931, pgs. 211-15.  I am grateful to Mistress Anna Dimitriova for the translation from German

[34] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 218

[35] A Survey of Persian Handicraft: A Pictorial Introduction to the Contemporary Folk Arts and Art Crafts of Modern Iran, Jay Gluck and Sumi Hiramoto Gluck, editors, The Bank Melli Iran, 1977, Pg. 218

[36] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 219

[37] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 5

[38] Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Eqypt, Marianne Ellis, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001, pg. 50

[39] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 218

[40] Travels in Persia, Sir John Chardin, The Argonaut Series, edited by Sir E. Dennison Ross and Eileen Power, Robert McBride and Company, 1929, pg. 274

[41] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 219

[42] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 5

[43] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 219

[44] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 6

[45] Embroidery in Persia, Phyllis Ackerman, Embroiderer’s Guild, 1993, pg. 6,  Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937

[46] http://www.sarakuehn.com

[47] Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Eqypt, Marianne Ellis, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001, pg. 49

[48] Travels in Persia 1673-1677, Sir John Chardin, Dover Publications, 1988

[49] http://www.hyeetch.nareg.com.au/culture/textile_p2.html

[50] A Survey of Persian Art, Volume XI, Arthur Upham Pope, editor, Oxford University Press, 1938

[51] Woven from the Heart, Spun from the Soul, Carol Bier, editor, Textile Museum, Washington D.C.,1987, pg. 279

[52] Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937

[53] For a coat with the entire surface embroidered, please see  A Book of Old Embroidery, Geoffrey Holme, Editor, London: The Studio, 1921, I am grateful to Mistress Marcele de’ Montsignor for pointing out this reference.

[54] A Survey of Persian Art, Volume V, Arthur Upham Pope, editor, Oxford University Press, 1938, Pg. 2067.

[55] When Silk was Gold; Central Asian and Chinese Textiles, James C.Y. Watt, Anne E. Wardwell, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997

[56] A Survey of Persian Art, Volume V, Arthur Upham Pope, editor, Oxford University Press, 1938, Pg. 2067.

[57] Lost Treasures of Persia, Vladimir Loukonine & Anatoli Ivanov, Confidential Concepts, 1996, pg. 180

[58] A Book of Old Embroidery, Geoffrey Holme, Editor, London: The Studio, 1921, Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937, A Pictorial History of Embroidery, Marie Schuette and Sigrid Muller-Christiansen, New York: Frederick A Praeger, 1964

[59] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 176

[60] A Book of Old Embroidery, Geoffrey Holme, Editor, London: The Studio, 1921, Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937, A Pictorial History of Embroidery, Marie Schuette and Sigrid Muller-Christiansen, New York: Frederick A Praeger, 1964

[61] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 179

[62] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 190

[63] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 190

[64] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 191

[65] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 192

[66] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 191

[67] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 191

[68] Information obtained from an exhibit of a 16th century carpet in the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. held in the fall of 2000.

[69] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 192

[70] The Traditional Crafts of Persia: Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilization, Hans E. Wulff, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1996, Pg. 192

[71] Koekboya: Natural Dyes and Textiles, a Colored Journey from Turkey to India and Beyond, Harold Böhmer, 2002

[72] Koekboya: Natural Dyes and Textiles, a Colored Journey from Turkey to India and Beyond, Harold Böhmer, 2002

[73] A Book of Old Embroidery, Geoffrey Holme, Editor, London: The Studio, 1921, Brief Guide to the Persian Embroideries, A.F. Kendrick, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1937, A Pictorial History of Embroidery, Marie Schuette and Sigrid Muller-Christiansen, New York: Frederick A Praeger, 1964

[74] Carpets of the Orient, Ludmilla Kybalova and Dominique Darbois, The Hamlyn Publishing Group lim., Czechoslovakia, 1951, The Persian Velvets at Rosenberg, Carol Bier, Copenhagen, 1995, The Detection of Metallic Mordants by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry, RJ Koestler, N. Indicator, R. Sheryll, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 1985, Volume 24, Number 2, Article 6, pp. 110-115.

[75] “Honor is According to Habit: Persian Dress in the 16th and 17th Century”, Jenny Housego, Apollo vol. 93, March 1971, p. 205

[76] Travels in Persia, Sir John Chardin, The Argonaut Series, edited by Sir E. Dennison Ross and Eileen Power, Robert McBride and Company, 1929