السبت، 8 أكتوبر 2011

Coptic Tapestry

The Arabs gave Egyptian tapestry the name "Kapati," based on the name "Copt."

Tapestry is considered one of the oldest decorated fabrics and the first attempt to make decorations of two or more colors.

Tapestry is one of the simplest methods of making decorated fabrics and was made of linen and wool. The Copts of Egypt were famous for making tapestry.

Al-Maqrizi, a historian, mentioned in his "Al-Khotat wal Aathar," that Cyrus, the ruler of Egypt, gave Prophet Mohammad a present of 20 rolls of tapestry and covered the Kaaba with the same fabric. The Kaaba is the central cubic stone structure within the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is covered by a cloth.

The world began to demand that type of fabric, which was exported to many Mediterranean countries.

It lost importance in Egypt compared to other methods of creating fabric, but reappeared in the seventeenth century in France during the time of King Louis the Fourteenth under a new name, "Gobelin." There was also a similar fabric called "Aubusson", named after a city in France. The making of tapestry was not limited to Egypt, but spread to most countries in the Middle East. Persia and Turkey began producing tapestry as early as the sixteenth century AD, about the same time it was produced in Europe under other names.

The Coptic Church priests wore a Patrashil, which is a vest of white linen decorated with religious drawings on the chest. It was worn over the priest's robes, which were made mostly of white linen with stripes of plant decorations. The robes were loose, a reference to the priest's patience, and long to cover the whole body.

It is rare to find silk tapestry from this period because of the scarcity and high cost of silk. It also was not considered an appropriate fabric for men.

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