For Kids: Silk for a Tomb

What is it made of? Silk-satin, lampas weave

When was it made? Seventeenth to eighteenth century

Where was it made? Turkey

Even more information


This noticeable red and white cloth would have covered a coffin-shaped structure, marking the burial place of an important person. Woven in silk with a distinct zigzag design, the beautiful white are in Arabic, a language written from right to left. The largest bands include the two main beliefs for Muslims: “There is only one God, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” The rest of the writing is made up of verses from the Qur’an.

Ottoman weavers were celebrated all over the Islamic world and Europe for their beautiful silk fabrics. Like this example, the silks were usually woven in bright colors with bold designs. Silks were used for clothing and for furnishings, such as cushions, curtains, and covers.


A lot of work went into making this luxurious large tomb cover. The artist probably drew the design on a piece of paper before creating the textile. This involved interlacing two sets of silk yarns on a loom, a machine for making fabric.


Make your own loom! Find a rectangular piece of cardboard, and then follow the instructions with help from an adult.

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