Fragment with Gold Foil, from a Furnishing Fabric

300s–400s CE
Location: not on view
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The rare gold foil and rich purple wool in these two fragments originally enriched a luxurious fabric. Costly gold foil wrapped around a silk core forms the central motif within a diamond, woven in tapestry weave. The surrounding interlacing knot design—achieved with three overlapping squares (in the small fragment) or interlacing squares (in the large fragment)—offered protection from danger and harm. The roundels were woven with extra, or supplementary, linen wefts wrapped on the purple ground. Linen pile loops in the ground fabric resisted abrasion in furnishing fabrics and provided insulation in tunics.
Fragment with Gold Foil, from a Furnishing Fabric

Fragment with Gold Foil, from a Furnishing Fabric

300s–400s CE

Egypt, Byzantine period

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