Wedding Belt, late 18th-early 19th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

This style of belt was an important and expensive costume item that was often part of a bride's accessories which would be valued and used on special occasions during the rest of her life. This belt was worn folded in half (see wear marks at the center of the belt) and wrapped around the waist. By varying the wrapping, four different color effects could be achieved to coordinate with the garment being worn.

Weaving technology used by urban Arab weavers was very sophisticated. A belt such as this, with its complicated and diverse patterning would probably have involved at least five specialists: a dyer to create the four warp colors, three coordinated weavers (one handling the weft thread and ground structure, and two developing the pattern), and a passementerie craftsperson to finish the braided warp ends.

Wedding Belt
L.90 x W.13-3/8 in., excluding fringe
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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