Possible turban cloth or sash

ashmoleanlinkedquatrefoilssash This textile was thought to have been made in Egypt between the 10th-15th century C.E. It is linen embroidered with blue silk and metal wrapped with silver. The textile also has three rolled hems with silk. It is thought to be either a sash or a turban cloth.

The textile is in the Ashmolean Museum.

I have charted up the embroidery and it is available for download as a pdf document.

ashmoleanlinkdquatrefoilssash (pdf)

Let me know how your embroidery goes.

Stuffed cookies

This is an Arts and Sciences entry into the Barony of Krae Glas’ Twilight Tourney.

A dessert served on a Constantinople table

Entry by Miriam bat Shimeon.

Based on “A recipe for stuffed cookies (halwa mahshuwwa), delicious and unusual (tarifa)”:

Take equal amounts almonds, pistachio and hazelnut. Shell them finely ground them and add equal amount of sugar. Miz and moisten the ingredients with rose water you have dissolved a lump of musk.

Make dough with fine smidh flour (high in starch and bran free), milk, sesame oil and yeast. When dough ferments, flatten portions into small discs, using a rolling pin. Line a concave mold (qalab) carved into decorative shapes (suwar al-tamathil) with a flattened disc and fill the cavity with some of the sugar nut mixture. Put another flattened disc on the filling and seal the edges. Take the cookie out of the mold [and repeat with the rest of the dough].

[Bake the cookies] by sticking them to the inner wall of the tannur. Alternatively you can arrange them in a shallow copper pan with a handle similar to that of a bucket (satl). Lower the pan into the tannur and cover its upper opening with a lid for a short while [to create moisture then remove it]. When the cookies are done, [take them out and] serve them while still hot.

You also have the choice to put some fat in the pan [before lowering it into the tannur]. When the cookies come out of the oven and while still hot, dip them in ‘asal mutaffa [purified honey in boiled water] which has been skimmed and scented with aromatic spices (mutayyab). Let the cookies absorb the syrup then take then out and arrange them on a platter. Sprinkle them with sugar and serve them. This variety (hadha al-fann) is called raghunin ratb muluki (royal moist cookies), so know this, God willing.”

This recipe comes from the Annals of the Caliph’s Kitchens as translated by Nawal Nasrallah (page 426-7). This is a translation of a 10th century cookbook called the al Baghdadi. It was written by a man named Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq with only a few manuscripts around, the most whole manuscript being a copy dated 1270 in the Topkapi Saray Museum in Istanbul.

The stuffing-
100g ground almonds
100g ground pistachios
100g ground hazelnuts
100g raw caster sugar
7ml rose water
img_0815
I blitz them all together in a mixer, until they looked like fine breadcrumbs.

The dough-
3c plain flour
2 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7g powdered yeast
2 tablespoon sesame oil
200g warm water
1 tablespoon milk

I put all these ingredients into my bread making machine on the pizza dough setting. These values are based on recommended recipes from the instruction manual. It took 2 hours to make the dough. I didn’t rest it, as the recipe states the dough is used straight away. I had a wooden mold, which had been washed and oiled with sesame oil. I then used this to form the cookies. img_0816 This is it, being oiled with sesame oil.

img_0818 This is it in the process of being stuffed. It is around one heaped teaspoon of the nut and sugar mixture.

I placed them on a tray and baked them. At the pastry setting on my oven for just over ten minutes at 200 degrees. I glazed them with melted butter as the recipe calls for a fat. img_0819

The syrup-
100ml water
100ml honey
1 teaspoon mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.

Boiled together in a pot, although most honey now has been pasteurised and therefore no need to skim. img_0820

The syrup was poured hot over the cookies, which aids the absorption. They were then sprinkled with raw caster sugar lightly.
img_0821 This is the cookies half glazed.

Things for next time
1)The dough (being yeast based) must be baked immediately. I left some waiting to be baked on the tray and they now look like scones.
2)The dough must be rolled out very thinly. Very elastic dough- it pulled back as soon as it was cut.
3)Drop the nut mixture right down. The total could be 50:50:50:50 with 2ml rosewater so less leftover.

Sorry there is no picture for the serving but they all vanished within 15 minutes! Best served hot. For this entry I won a ring from the hand of Baroness Elspeth Caerwent herself.

References
“Annals of the Caliph’s Kitchen” translated by Nawal Nasrallah. Brill, 2010. ISBN: 9789004188112.

A diagonal embroidery with vines and hooks

vinesandhooks This textile was made between the 10th-15th centuries in Egypt. It is linen embroidered in blue flax. The size is 38 cm by 20 cm. The item is currently in the research collection of the Ashmolean Museum.

I have charted up the design, which can be downloaded as a pdf document-
vinesandhooks (PDF)
Let me know how the embroidery goes!

An embroidered Mamluk shawl

vandamamlukshawl This textile is from Egypt, made between 1250-1516 C.E. during the Mamluk Sultanate. It is a linen shawl, embroidered with silk in tree and bird motifs with tiraz at the bottom. The shawl is also tasseled. It is currently in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

I have charted it up, which can be downloaded as a pdf document-
vandamamlukshawl (pdf)

Please let me know how the chart goes!

Two similar embroideries

ashmoleantreesandmedallions This embroidery is from Egypt, although the Ashmolean Museum has the dates of construction between 10th to 15th century. It is linen embroidered with dark blue flax, 15.5 long and 13 cm wide. The “trees” have three different ovals, but not enough of the embroidery survives to see if a pattern developed.

I have charted up the pattern, which is available as a pdf-
ashmoleantreesandmedallions (pdf)

There is a similar embroidery in the Victoria & Albert Museum-
vandadouble This is the top embroidery, which is linen embroidered with dark blue silk and a twisted linen fringe. The “trees” have a slightly different design but the same oval designs as the embroidery in the Ashmolean Museum. The medallions are of the same dimensions but a slightly different filling design. The V&A Museum also give the dates of 1250-1516 C.E.

The pattern is available to download as a pdf document-
vandatreesandmedallions (pdf)

I have not charted up the bottom pattern darning embroidery, but will be doing it soon. Let me know how the embroidery goes!

A blackwork with quatrefoils

ashmoleanquatrefoil This Egyptian textile is plain woven linen embroidered with dark blue silk. At the top of the textile there is a rolled hem. It is 25 cm long and 24.5 cm wide. Thought to have been made between the 10th-15th century, it is possible that it is an end of a sash. The textile is in the Ashmolean Museum.

I have charted the design and it can be downloaded as a pdf-
ashmoleanquatrefoils (pdf)

Please let me know how the embroidery goes!

An interlocking zigzag embroidery

interlockingzigzagashmolean This textile is an Egyptian linen embroidered in blue flax. It is 13 cm wide and 8 cm high with a rolled hem at the top of the textile. The narrow embroidery band on the left is 0.5 cm wide and the larger embroidery is 7.7 cm wide. The embroidery was to the very edge of the textile and is in the rolled hem.
interlockingzigzaghem
The textile is in the Ashmolean Museum. It is thought to have been made between the 10th and 15th centuries.

I have charted up the embroidery design and it can be downloaded in pdf format-
interlockingzigzag (pdf)

Let me know how it goes!

A diagonal embroidery with hooks

diagonalwithhooks This textile is an even weave linen, embroidered in dark blue cotton. It is 12.5 cm high and 11.5 cm wide and thought to have been made between the 10th and 15th centuries. It is currently in the Ashmolean Museum.

I have charted up the design, as well as attempt to embroider it. The chart is available for download in pdf format-
diagonalwithhooks PDF

Let me know how it works out!

A chequered embroidery

chequeredsquares This textile was thought to have been made between the 10th-15th centuries. The textile is a plain weave linen embroidered in dark blue silk. The chequering is done with fylfots. The textile is 21.5 cm high by 13 cm wide and is currently in the Ashmolean Museum.

The design has been charted & is available as a pdf document-
chequeredsquares (pdf)

The timeline given covers Egyptian history from the Abbasid Caliphate to the Mamluks. I personally think that the textile is Mamluk, but I am happy to be corrected. In the textile itself, only a few times are the fylfots reversed. The chart reflects this.

Interlocking fylfots chart

interlockingfylfots This textile was made in Egypt between the 10th and 15th centuries. It is 13.5cm long and 9cm wide. The textile is linen embroidered with blue silk. The textile is in the Ashmolean Museum.

I have charted up the design and it is quite reminiscent of the design seen in the post “Another charted design”.

interlacingfylfots PDF

Let me know how the chart works!