Technique – supports and reserves

The supports on which the reserves are made vary according to the raw material used and its treatment, and according to the structure of the fabric. They reflect availabilities in the natural environment but also aesthetic and cultural choices.

Two large groups of reserve can be seen : reserves that are tied and others that are sewn. They can be made without a mark or, on the contrary, follow a pattern inscribed beforehand in or on the fabric. The link itself is by nature variable : A thread of cotton, a strand of raffia, a strip of plastic or rubber, etc.

  • locally woven cotton

    locally woven cotton

  • industrial cotton

    industrial cotton

  • plaited raffia

    plaited raffia

  • plaited pandanus

    plaited pandanus

  • woven silk

    woven silk

  • woven camel wool

    woven camel wool

  • sheep's wool and sprang

    sheep's wool and sprang

  • double knot

    double knot

  • tying


  • tying pinched fabric

    tying pinched fabric

  • sewing and gathering

    sewing and gathering

  • reserve by sewing and concealment

    reserve by sewing and concealment

  • Embroidery


  • tied stencil

    tied stencil

double knot

double knot

Woman’s robe, thob qoz Syria, Qutayfé, 1st half of the 20th century Doupion silk, S-twist, silk braiding Dominique Champault Mission 71.1967.100.20

It is a celebration robe with sleeves knotted at the back, worn by wealthy women living in a rural environment and by older women. This type of robe always has geometric patterns. The word « doupion » represents here an irregular raw silk yarn, resulting from the spinning of double cocoons, that is, cocoons spun by two caterpillars (technical vocabulary from the International Centre for Study of Ancient Textiles – CIETA). One weaves narrow widths of cloth with this yarn. The soft texture of the fabric, which is slightly yellow in colour in preparation of the reserve, is achieved by knot tying before the red dyeing process begins. The fabric is dyed blue or brown after a second batch of tying the yarn. One can also get patterns with bi-coloured concentric circles with a brown or black background. The design, consisting of geometric patterns, extends from the central width in front and behind and is symmetrically extended on each side to the edge of the sleeves. The period in between the needle and decorative sewing completes the ornamentation. 131x87 cm