Quick deffinition: Damasks used one of the five basic weaving techniques of the Byzantine and Islamic weaving centres of the early Middle Ages, and derive their name from the city of Damascus, which at the time was a large city active in both trading and manufacture. Damasks were scarce after the ninth century outside of Islamic Spain, but were revived in some places in the thirteenth century. The word "damask" is first seen in a Western European language in the mid-14th century in French. By the fourteenth century, damasks were being woven on draw looms in Italy. From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, most damasks were woven in a single colour, with a glossy warp-faced satin pattern against a duller ground. Two-colour damasks had contrasting colour warps and wefts, and polychrome damasks added gold and other metallic threads or additional colors as supplemental brocading wefts. Medieval damasks were usually woven in silk, but wool and linen damasks were also woven.
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