Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods, Markets. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Inc. New York, NY, September 23–26, 1998 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1999).


Copyright © 1998 by the author(s)


The damask technique as we know it today is probably one of the oldest techniques (if not the oldest) for weaving figured patterns that has an unbroken tradition that continues today in forms that are commercially and artistically strong.

The origin of the technique can be placed in the Far East centuries before the opening of the Christian era. The specific loom mechanisms that are often used to define damask weaving were used in China before the Tang period (A.D. 618-907). A remarkable number of silks survive from early periods of development.

In addition to being defined as a specific technique, damask is also defined as a structure and generically as a type of lUxury fabric. Silk and linen are the materials most often associated with it, but not exclusively.