A Mamluk Inspired Tunic – Rafi al-Qasid

East Kingdom Wiki: https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/index.php?title=Rafi_al-Qasid

I hand sewed a linen tunic with linen Tiraz bands and used cotton thread to sew and embroider a tunic modeled after a tunic and pattern I found on the Ashmolean Museum of Oxfords Website (Ellis).

My goal was to make a simple tunic that would be persona appropriate. I tried to make it the general shape of the on the right, but in my size. I chose to do a different style of Neck opening due to the fact that I do not particularly like wearing Deep V necks.  The extant example is believed to be a child’s tunic due to the size of it. However I chose to use this as an example because it was one of the best cited  examples I was personally able to find that was still a complete finished piece. The original is from Egypt some time between 1250-1517. Believed to be from the area of Fustat. The original was constructed from linen and the embroidery is done in a combination of silk and flax thread. It was made using smaller pieces of fabric that were joined with run and fell stitches but the source claims the adult versions would have been made on a larger loom and would have been woven from cuff to cuff. So I made mine in that style as the only seam is the sides and where I attached the Tiraz bands.   I made the Tunic then Embroidered the Tiraz bands and then attached them to the tunic. Due to the fact that I was not confident in my ability and If I made a catastrophic mistake on the Bands I did not want to ruin the whole tunic. 

Full documentation here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gX-osqzR3zAelNXGgwEjRROg0ciq7fDibtwgDy3nVt8/edit?usp=drivesdk

22 thoughts on “A Mamluk Inspired Tunic – Rafi al-Qasid

  1. Embroidering just the bands also means you can reuse them or take them off to wash it. It’s a great plan.

    Love your work here!

  2. I so appreciate the hand-sewing and your embroidery on this tunic. Nicely done.

  3. Fantastic project – I especially love the embroidery details!! (….and if you haven’t paneled at the EK embroidery guild, Athena’s Thimble, you could totally bring this ;))

  4. Well done on the tunic, and beautiful tiraz embroidery! I appreciate that you attached them separately — that’s a practical way to reuse them on other clothing when this tunic wears out, and if I recall correctly, that’s also a historically accurate usage, which shows up in the contrasting colors of the bands to the tunics in Mamluk paintings, etc. I’m really curious about your sources for the fabric width being cuff to cuff — I would love to know more about that. I’ve seen more Mamluk & Abbasid garb use Bishop Timotheos’ tunic pattern (which is more like the child’s tunic you referenced), but it would be really interesting to see a different pattern. You also said you were sure your tiraz inscription was a modern Arabic translation — I learned a really cool thing at a class at Pennsic University a couple years ago: unlike English or the Romance languages, modern written Arabic has not changed a whole lot from its medieval version. Anyway, I’m geeking out about this, because I love this era/region, so I hope you don’t mind my rambling. Thank you for sharing your tunic! It came out beautifully!

Comments are closed.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑