In recent decades, the significance of Islamic textiles has been examined in greater depth. These objects often conveyed status, wealth and religious allegiance.
Although early Islamic textiles are usually found in fragmentary form, the gallery provides a glimpse of the eastern end of Islam as well as the textile from the Mughals, who were responsible for some of the greatest advances in the field. Elaborate woven silks and brilliant colourfast dyes for cottons were hugely popular.
While Central Asia has an easily identifiable textile style in its bold designs and striking colours. Although embroidery was used extensively, it is the ikat weaves of the region that have left the most eye-catching legacy.
Textiles were used for decorative as well as sartorial purposes. With the nomadic origins of so many of Islam’s ruling dynasties, it was inevitable that they would continue to value the portability of textiles as well as their luxury.