Sartorial Splendour: Tiraz and Contemporary Costume
‘Fatimid caliphs would select the most ornate tiraz textiles to reward dignitaries and courtiers.’
On special occasions the Fatimid caliphs would select the most ornate tiraz textiles or robes-of-honour to reward dignitaries and courtiers. The prime minister for instance would receive 30 complete outfits, which he was free to distribute among his staff. Others were given to high-ranking guests of the court or – at celebrations or anniversaries – even to members of the public at large. Tiraz costumes varied in type and style depending on the rank of their recipients. Gilded silks were for princely dignitaries, and there was a variety of silks for government staff.
Large dish

Hegira 5th century / AD 11th century
Museum of Islamic Art
Cairo, Egypt
Court musicians like the woman depicted on this plate would have been among those rewarded with precious textiles, tiraz among them.