Damascus: Brocade Makers

Date: 1374

Sultan al-Ashraf Shaʿban (r. 1363-77) ordered the governor of Syria, Baydamur, to send to Cairo numerous items including brocade, embroidery, gold and silver needles, ornamented saddles, and saddlebags. The account of this event mentions that the palace became “like a workshop” and notes the presence of “men making brocade”  and “people sewing” (embroiderers?) among the artisans.

Citation: Ibn Sasra, Muhammad b. Muhammad, al-Durra al-muḍīʿa fi’l-dawla al-ẓāhiriyya. Published as: A Chronicle of Damascus, 1389-1397, ed. and trans. W. Brinner (Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 1963), I, pp. 250-51; II, pp. 189.

See also: Allan, James. “Shaʿbān, Barqūq, and the Decline of the Mamluk Metalworking Industry”, Muqarnas 2 (1984), p. 90.