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The Egyptian Tentmakers and the Art of Khayamiya

 

The Egyptian Tentmakers and the Art of Khayamiya

 

Sam Bowker

 

Synopsis:

This talk introduces the textile art of tentmaker appliqué, or “khayamiya.” Historically, the Egyptian tentmakers sewed complex decorative interiors for urban tents, providing spectacular temporary venues for public and private events. Today, they use these skills to create textile artworks resembling quilts, sustaining their skilled craft within changing economic and political circumstances.

 

References:

Atasoy, Nurhan. Otağ-ı Hümayun: The Ottoman Imperial Tent Complex. Istanbul: Aygaz, 2000.

Barakat, Heba. Beyond Boundaries: Tents of the Islamic World. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2003.

Beamish, Kim. The Tentmakers of Cairo. Non d’Script, 2015.

El Rashidi, Seif and Sam Bowker. The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2018.  

Gagnon, Blaire. “Egyptian Appliques.” Uncoverings 24 (2003): 131–62.

For image credits, see Bowker, Sam. “The Urban Fabric of Cairo: Khayamiya and the Suradeq.” International Journal of Islamic Architecture 3, no. 2 (2014): 475–501.  

 

Citations:

Sam Bowker, “The Egyptian Tentmakers and the Art of Khayamiya,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 28 August 2020.

 

Sam Bowker is the Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Charles Sturt University. He and Seif El Rashidi published ‘The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft’ in 2018 for the American University in Cairo Press. His ongoing research considers issues raised by Islamic art and design when seen from regional Australian perspectives, and he teaches Islamic art and design with a post-19th century focus.