Brocade textile industry is an ancient handicraft, that Syrians have practiced since 3 centuries. The Kurds of Damascus, throughout this period, are the main workforce who mastered this craft using hand loom.
The cloth is mainly made of natural silk, sometimes gold and silver threads are added. This craft is very delicate, detail oriented/accurate and exhausting. One and a half meter of brocade requires 8 hours of continuous work.
There are several patterns of Damascene brocade, most of them are inspired by daily life in Damascus, the islamic decoration, and from the Arabic and European history. Some examples are: geometric patterns from the Ommayad mosque in Damascus, the battle of Salahdin and the ship of Noah, etc..
The beauty and fame of this fabric, grabbed the attention of royals and worldwide celebrities who were keen to have their own.
Throughout history this seldom craft came to extinct due to wars and shortage in raw materials, however it was revived again in 1935. Once again its stability was shaken during the second decades of the 21st century, it is essential to support this craft and keep the heritage alive.
The cover photo of the hand loom was taken by Dania Haffar