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Be Refreshed in


The Inner Courtyard

In a typical Muslim house, the Riyad is the inner central courtyard.

The house presents walls and a few grilled screened windows to the world. But inside the thick walls is one's own world, cool and private. While there may be a garden of plants at the back of the house, the centrally located riyad, protected somewhat from the sun, with shady niches and often a fountain or small pool, is a place that is welcoming for family and guests alike in which to spend time.

It is cool and pleasant here. There is water trickling in our fountain and the sweet sounds of songbirds among the plants. The gazebo provides shade from the unrelenting sun. Please, take a seat and relax. A servant will bring some mint tea and sweet pastries. Mamoul from the Levant are among my favorites, semolina cakes filled with rosewater-scented date puree. But of course there are others to choose from - please, try some baqlawa or kata'if.

I am no longer new to the SCA. My first event was in May of 1999 and I received my membership card in late July. At the Beltane event just passed (2005), I celebrated six years in the SCA. I live in the Kingdom of the West, the Principality of The Mists, and the Province of The Mists - in the vicinity of Berkeley and Oakland, California.

Sunday: 02 October 2011

I have FIXED a number of links
broken since the demise of GeoCities (of blessed memory)
and now fully functional! Look for

Also i have added a few NEW pages
with photos of Safavid Persian fabric.
Look for NEW!

Maghribi and Andalusi Costume

A selection of illustrations from the 13th century tale of unrequited love, one of only three manuscripts known to have survived from Medieval al-Andalus. Useful for clothing ideas.
This is a digest of the Maghribi part of an article in the Encyclopedia of Islam on Islamic/Arabic/etc. costume. This covers both men and women.
These pages have a glossary of garments, their names in Arabic and/or Berber (Amazight), very brief descriptions, and where they were/are worn. One is organized alphabetically by garment name, the other by the modern country in which they are worn.
An introduction and historical overview, from Roman Egypt to 17th century Tunisia. Specifics of Maghribi and Andalusian women's costume, with a look at the various garments that make up an outfit, from around the 10th century through the 16th century.
One good source of information is art from early to mid period Spain. Here are pictures of Muslim costumes of both females and males from the Books of Games by Alfonso X the Wise, dated to 1283. Many graphics, so it may be slow to load.
Thirteen illustrations, so it may be slow to load, primarily from the 16th century. Eleven are Maghribi or Andalusian and two are Levantine.
a woman's garment possibly going back to 16th century Maghrib.

Persian and Ottoman Clothing Patterns
*** Historic Items Expanded and Updated ***

Ottoman Clothing

Actual Ottoman Fabrics
A selection of photos of actual Ottoman textiles, primarily for garments and primarily 16th century, but a few furnishing textiles and a few from the early 17th century. These can give the re-creator a sense of the types of patterns to look for.

Ottoman Women's Clothing, An Historical Overview
A Survey arranged by century primarily of women's clothing, but also including men's, from the late 15th and 16th centuries through the 19th century. I put this section together because i found many pictures on the web without dates and not arranged in chronological order, so one could not get a clear sense of the development of fashion in the center of the Ottoman Empire.

Links to Ottoman Garments, Fabrics, and Patterns
No, i don't have my patterns up yet, but here are links to photos of actual Ottoman garments and fabrics, and some patterns by other SCAdians you can use.

Ottoman Woman's Clothing
The basics garments of a 16th century urban woman's outfit. Illustrated with 16th and early 17th century European and Ottoman art.

Persian Clothing

Actual Persian Fabrics
Photos, most in color, of garment textiles from circa 1420 to 1500. These can give the re-creator a sense of the types of patterns to look for for Timurid garments.

NEW! Actual Persian Fabrics
Several webpages of photos, most in color, of garment textiles from the 16th through 18th centuroes, featuring flowers, birds, and people. These can give the re-creator a sense of the types of patterns to look for for Safavid garments.

15th and 16th Century Persian Cloud Collars
Includes closeups from paintings, actual surviving designs for cloud collars, and the one known surviving cloud collar, with beautiful embroidery, but badly restored - the background fabric was originally red, but was stitched over in golden-yellow to preserved the embroidery as the background was rotting away (silk will do that).

A 14th century Persian Embroidered Cotton Under-tunic / Kamiz / Pirihan
Color photos and some archaeological details of a carbon-dated silk embroidered cotton garments from 14th C. Persia.

Rashid's Persian Patterns Rashid lives in the East Kingdom. I saw his patterns on the Persian persona e-mail list page at Yahoo!Groups and thought perhaps they might be able to reach additional folks here. Rashid has graciously given me permission to do this. Rashid has revised his patterns and expanded their number. They now include:

  • 14th c. Eastern Persian pirihan (undertunic)
  • man's pirihan
  • shalvar (pants)
  • man's short coat
  • cross-over (Mongol) style coat
  • 3 different coat styles
He also has drawings of
  • footwear
  • men's head coverings
  • women's head coverings
  • belts
and even
  • women's make-up
For complete access, check out Rashid's Patterns

If you're interested in joining the e-mail list, it can be found at sca-persian, on Yahoo!Groups; Rashid is one of the list members.

For addtional information on Persian Women's Clothing from several centuries, visit my friend A'isha's website.

Unfortunately another excellent source of information on Persian clothing, the extensive web site of Roxane Farabi, is no longer on the web.

Mamluk Textile and Costume Items

  • URL UPDATED! Early 13th Century Syrian Clothing
    What were they wearing during the late 12th century, when the movie "The Kingdom of Heaven" was set?
    Well, I couldn't find pictures from the 1180s, but i did find some from 1222-1230. And, boyhowdy, was the movie off base. Yeah, well, it's only a movie, it's only a movie...

  • A Selection of Mamluk Textiles and Garments
    includes a brief history of the Mamluk Empire, 1250-to end of SCA period.
  • Two Mamluk Caps
    one a pillbox style pieced of woven cloth, the other dome style, appliquéed and embroidered, with a long tassel
  • Two Mamluk Embroidered Fragments
    one silk on linen, the other silk on silk, each with several different stitches.
  • A Mamluk Embroidered Tunic Front
    What did Near Eastern tunic decoration look like in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries? This is apparently a rather representative example of those that have survived. It includes pattern darning - a counted thread technique using running stitch, openwork - another counted thread technique, a variety of stitches for motifs (including a few cross stitches which are NOT counted thread technique - quite different from the 20th and early 21st centuries), and several little tassels

Some Islamic Textiles from Several Regions

  • A Few Islamic Textiles from 9th to 14th centuries
    A selection of seven fragments from Central Asia to al-Andalus mostly brocades, but included are an embroidery and a tapestry woven "Tiraz" band. Highly detailed graphics will be slow to load on modems slower than 56K.

Medieval Egyptian Knitting

I've moved all my knitting into a new room at Dar Anahita - The Knitting Room.

I've got some new stuff:

  • I finally finished the cotton "Allah" stockings 3-1/2 years ago
  • And i made a pair of complexly patterned socks (the child's tree-and-animal socks - the foot only had to be about 1-1/2 inches longer to fit me), including detailed information and pattern charts.
  • I re-created a small mysterious knit tube which may be a coin purse.
  • I also knit 18 pouches to donate to our Queen's "Treasure Chest" - i've got to finish getting the tassels on all of them.

There are also the familiar:

  • Introduction to Medieval Egyptian and Muslim Knitting
  • My very first pair of socks, the blue-and-white "Allah" stockings, based on an actual historical example, completed in November '99.
    And directions with charts for recreating my version.
  • My blue-and-brown-and-white Baraka (blessings) anklets, an experiment in learning techniques, with directions on how to make them, completed in December '99.
    And directions with charts for recreating my version.
  • A colorful cotton knit pouch, completed in January '00, of fine cotton knit at 14 stitches per inch
  • My Muslim Egyptian patterned wool mittens with gauntlets, finished the pair in February '00.
  • A pointy hat - a conical Andalusian-style with a ball on top, in off-white and shades of blue, made in March '00, not Medieval Egyptian, but it doesn't look out of place.
  • Arm Warmers - sometimes called "scoggers", which are separate knit sleeves. They were almost done in May '00. I knit them in fine Shetland wool, utilizing Medieval Egyptian patterns in many colors, including 3-strand color sections as well as intarsia within circular knitting.

al-Riyad renovated on 07 April 2004
and redecorated on 18 June 2004
and updated 2 October 2011

Your are person Counter to relax in al-Riyad.
Counter Courtesy of

Step through the doorway to enter further into my home.

Or to step back to the Front Hall Directory to Dar Anahita.

the doorway

I'd really like to correspond with other SCA members who have Andalusian, Near or Middle Eastern, or Central Asian personae.

, now known as Urtatim (err-tah-TEEM)

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