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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Syrian Brocade

Design used for H.M Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II wore it on her Wedding in November 1947(given to her as a gift by the Syrian Government). The famous, hand-woven Syrian silk brocade has been known for centuries, and is perhaps the finest silk ever. Called by Arabs "brokard", it has the name generating from the old language, where "brokard" meant "the work of Brahim", as it is believed that the saint Brahim developed the fine silk many years b.c

In the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Damascus, weavers continue to produce this beautiful fabric.

The whole craft is bound to the past. The looms do not differ much from the types first used. Nonetheless, the weavers continue to sit before looms following the intricacies of the cardboard master-pattern or, with a show of bravura, working from memory. They can be seen in Damascus weaving a variety of patterns, some of which have been in use for centuries. Each shop tries to maintain its own designs, but they are modified and copied from studio to studio. The merchant will guide visitors through the workshops and explain how the fabrics are woven. Then, at a counter, as though casually illustrating some point in his description, he will display two or three bolts and the visitor's will-power is weakened by the dazzling fabricÂ…

Note: Maamal Naassan(or Naassan factory), the shop where the queen got her wedding dress fabric is still in existence. It is located at the end of Bab Sharqui in Damascus.

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Quite interesting!
with all the designer fabrics in Europe at her disposal, she opted to make her dress from Maamal Naasan's!!!
I guess the fabric was so authentically good to tempt a queen.
Maybe we should remind the Royal family of this present so they reconsider their country's (and many other western countries') current anti-Syrian attitude!

hehehe I don't think they'll respond to that Firas, I guess it will be an additional tempting prize they can get from Syria.

Way to go Dina!
Your posts are always informative and interesting.. I was wondering where you get your info from?
Or is it just general knowledge, for poeple living in Syria?

Thanks Omar...Well I usually get the basic info from what I've heard from friends and family, and then I do research on the internet to get the exact details. I am a Google addict!

Google is the best internet based "invention" to date.. I am an addict my self

I am becoming addicted to this site. (Just hope Bush doesn't hear about it. I don't really want to visit Cuba that bad!) But just as an aside/addition I can tell you that where I live in Spain, Torrox, a Pueblo in Malaga provence used to be, during the times of the Moors, the third most important silk producing center in the world and their silk was sold in both Damascus and Bagdhad and quite possibly as far away as China.

Thanks again for providing some sanity in this mad, mad world.


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