Sartorial Splendour: Tiraz and Contemporary Costume
‘Complete tiraz garments are rare, but fragments indicate they came in an array of colours.’
At the court in Cairo the caliph’s wardrobe and his personal tiraz items were cared for by female staff. Scented flowers from the palace garden would be used to perfume his clothes. A second palatial wardrobe catered for the general court. Complete tiraz garments and other contemporary outfits are rare, but many extant fragments indicate that these textiles were of linen or silk, often embroidered with silk, and in an array of colours. Further clues about the appearance of tiraz items and contemporary dress in general, come from Fatimid wood and ivory carvings and ceramics, which show male and female figures feasting, hunting or making music in outfits that include turbans, shawls and belted tunics, many embellished with tiraz bands.
Fragment of a robe

Hegira 427–87 / AD 1036–94
Fatimid; reign of Al-Mustansir billah
Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum
Berlin, Germany
Fragment of a tiraz textile datable to the reign of Caliph al-Mustansir (r. 427–86 / 1036–94).