Handmade Damascene Brocade
As textured cloth goes, the Damascene handwoven brocade produced in Syria is one of the finest fabrics in existence, and it's no exception to the general rule of export excellence set by the Mediterranean nation. Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Technology there has been passed down through many centuries and generations of perfection, with its appearance and material refinements only benefiting from cultural exchange mechanisms like international trade. The result of long years of business is seen in weaves produced with lovely traditional Arab or Islamic designs, modern Western and Judeaic details, or even the Orientally influenced natural depictions and floral color schemes known to crop up in many localized variants of fine handmade fabric.
Damascus silk brocade is more commonly known than other types made in Syria, but the basic method of construction is similar for all of them. Multiple threads are woven together onto a thickly stacked loom, using groups of colored strands to generate upraised areas and shapes spaced by subtle background designs. This creates a rich, textured fabric; one that tour guides are famous for promoting as a great take home item for vacationers.
While fine brocades find use in traditional formal clothing, table cloths, drapes and runners, these products are increasingly available in more utilitarian synthetic materials. Comfortable traditional clothes bearing designs like Middle Eastern fans and leaves to European dandelions still use the smoothest silk Damascus brocade. North African influenced designs and Indian paisleys are easily created from soft, attractive dual sided cottons.
Modern manufacturing techniques let the artisans who make great Syrian cloth items exchange ideas with craftsmen from all around the world. Over time, traditional techniques have blossomed into an industry that makes Damascene brocades easier to come by online.