Damask Patterns: A History

First handwoven in China in silk over one thousand years ago, the fabric gained notoriety in Damascus, during the middle ages in the Byzantine Empire. It became the most desired textile in all the world, and was given the name Damask––after the city that defined the craftsmanship of this luxurious fabric.

Much more than just a reference to a scrolled-motif pattern, real Damask is a type of fabric featuring a variety of weaving techniques––including satin and twill––to create areas of sheen in the cloth. Because these weaves reflect light differently, the fabric elegantly shines in different tones and can even weave tones into the warp and weft of the fabric. The design is woven into the cloth and for that reason is always reversible. 

Known for its captivating beauty, the desire for the legendary, luxury fabric grew and soon Damascus and the Middle East became famous for a mastery of the delicate weave. The fabric became so famous that King Louis XVI chose to lavish his palace walls with the gorgeous fabric. Damask upholstery, draperies and pillows add a level of elegance and grace to any room in your home. World renown Scalamandré is best known for distinguished custom textiles including Damask while other manufacturers rose to the forefront too, including Duralee, Fabricut, Greenhouse, Kravet and Ralph Lauren.

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