The Dimashqi brocade is the most famous and finest of fabrics and textile in the world, it is made of gold thread, silver and silk. Damascus is marked by brocade since ancient times and has a professional and industry specialists that brocade became connected with Damascus. Brocade industry is an accurate and exhausting process that requires high efforts. It is carried out through a long and arduous process requiring months to complete one meter of brocade. This effort made refraining from learning this craft a reason to diminish and another reason to gain renown.
- Brocade History:
Brocade industry is old that is renowned in Damascus for centuries and in Aleppo for three centuries. The brocade fabric was required by kings and queens and rulers and celebrities. Queen Elizabeth made her wedding dress from Dimashqi brocade fabric. This industry disappeared for periods of time due to the lack of raw materials or the lack of expert manpower due to wars and crises that afflict this country where workers go to war and brocade shops are closed. Accordingly, fathers begrudge their sons so they don’t teach them a business that helps them to survive. This industry has been renewed since 1935.
- Brocade Types:
It has various types; some is embroidered with gold threads and silver ones. The role of these threads in the fabric is limited to drawings and ornamental shapes. These many colors form various drawings, human beings, dancers, plants, animals such as elephants, deers and birds. Others form simple themes having general patterns.
- Brocade Drawing:
Brocade drawing is a complicated process that leans on accurate works. Patterns and birds are drawn on millimeter paper with width 5 cm max in case it is woven on a loom of 400 rods that it would be repeated each 5 cm or the shape width would be done each 20 cm. They apply this drawing on cartoon panels that are fixed on the top of the loom and it’s called jakkar. These panels are movable based on the rods movement. It’s important to know the holes count that operate the square centimeter, when we start working on the loom, the normal strings shuttle will pass through the different hoops and the golden strings shuttle will raise the rods based on the holes count. This process will be repeated based on the drawing shape.
- Brocade Patterns:
The brocade patterns and drawings are almost inspired by the daily life and Islamic ornamentation and Arab Islamic and European history such as:
- Almond and noisette drawing: it is taken from the almonds, nuts and roses trees that exist In the Damascene houses.
- Oriental drawing: it is inspired by the geometric shapes found in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. It is a twelve sided geometric shape.
- Salaheldine Ayoubi Battle drawing: it is inspired by the Islamic Arabs history.
- Noah's Ark drawing: it is inspired by the religious myths.
- Romeo and Juliet drawing: it is inspired by the European heritage
- Omar Khayyam drawing: it describes scenes of deers hunting, dancing, meetings of men smoking hubble bubble which are inspired by Persian heritage.
- Butterfly drawing ( so-called Pop ): it has 7 colors and it is desired by foreign tourists.
- Love birds drawing: it is the brocade cloth which Queen Elizabeth II chose for her wedding dress. So the brocade traders used to call it Queen Elizabeth instead of love birds.