Aleppo: Gold and Silver Thread Manufacturers

Date: early nineteenth century

The merchants in the Market of the Syrians (Sūq al-Shāmiyya) in Mecca sold numerous items manufactured in Syria, including gold and silver thread from Aleppo. See also: Embroiderer with silver wire (mujarkash or muzarkash).

Citation: Burckhardt, John Lewis, Travels in Arabia: Comprehending an Account of those Territories in the Hedjaz which the Mohammedans regard as sacred ((London: Henry Colburn, 1829. Reprinted, London: Frank Cass, 1968), pp. 120-21.

See also: Milwright, Marcus, “Trade and the Syrian Hajj between the 12th and the early 20th Centuries: Historical and archaeological Perspectives”, in Venetia Porter and Liana Saif, eds, The Hajj: Collected Essays, Research Publications 193 (London: British Museum Press, 2013), p. 34.


Date: c. 1840

Sir John Bowring (d. 1872) calculates that Aleppo was the largest manufacturer and consumer of gold and silver thread, producing 150,000 drams (approximately 266 kg) annually. These threads were sometimes embroidered on silk garments. Some of the best machinery in Aleppo was used for making gold and silver thread. At the time of writing, there were fifteen workshops in Aleppo employing around sixty people. See also: Embroiderer with Silver Wire.

Citation: Bowring, John. Report on the Commercial Statistics of Syria (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1840. Reprinted: New York: Arno Press, 1973), pp. 21, 83-85.