This is a stunning woman's vintage belt (hzam) from Fes made of brocaded silk in the late 19th century using a drawloom. A feature of this belt is that it has two main designs which blend almost seamlessly to make one long belt. The reverse also has two designs. This enabled the wearer to wear it in four different ways as only one design would be visible at any one time due to its length. The designs are traditional floral motifs woven in rich luxurious colours with the reverse showing a simple linear design on one half and plain woven fabric in a single colour on the other. The long warp fringes are braided and adorned with decorative metallic threads encasing the braids. Wear commensurate with age. A stunningly beautiful rare collector's piece.
Circa late 19th century.
265 cm x 11 cm / 8' 8" x 4½".
Belts (hzam) were a very important item of clothing in Fez at the beginning of the 20th century. Those in our collection are made of brocaded silk and made on a drawloom. The designs may have been based on Andalusian traditions as many artisans emigrated to Fez after the fall of Granada, the last Moorish foothold in Spain, in 1492. The 'Fez belts' as they are now known, have become very desirable collectible items for Westerners.