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Silks & Damasks

Damasks, or damask fabric is a material with a rich history. Northcroft Fabrics offers a large range of damasks from different time periods, woven in various fibres and covering a range of styles and budgets.

The damask fabric derives its name from the city of Damascus, which was, at the time, a large city active in both the trading and manufacture of the fabric. Damask fabrics can be woven from silk, wool, linen, cotton and synthetic fibres, with a pattern formed by weaving. Early production of the fabric used one of the five basic weaving techniques used in the Byzantine and Islamic weaving centres in the early Middle Ages. It became popular in Italy in the 14th Century, where it was being woven on draw looms and mostly being produced in a single-colour weave.

Damask weaves can now be produced in single and two-colour weaves and feature patterns of flowers, fruit and other designs. The long floats of satin-woven warp and weft threads cause soft highlights on the fabric which reflect light differently depending on the angle the observer is looking from. In addition, two-colour weaves have contrasting colour warps and wefts, and polychrome damask fabrics had gold and other metallic threads added to create further highlights and reflections of the fabric.

The reverse side of a woven fabric can often appear dull; whilst the threads are there, the complexity of colours and shapes is lost. However, the damask fabric is woven in a way in which the pattern on one side is the inverse of the other. This innovative ‘double-faced’ design lends itself very well to a variety of applications, including upholstery, drapes and soft furnishings such as cushions. In addition, the elaborate motifs and opulent materials used to create it make the damask fabric one of the world’s most luxurious and fascinating fabrics.

Damask fabrics from Northcroft Fabrics:

Medici is a popular, pure silk damask of a grand design taken from an original 16th Century Italian damask, while Minster is a damask in a classic Italian design from the 15th Century. Pagoda and Nanking are examples of traditional Chinoiserie styles, and Swallow is a 19th Century Arts and Craft design.
Other damasks such as Limoges and Stamford are made in cotton and modacrylic fibre to give the benefit of fire retardancy to damask fabrics.


Have a look at a selection of our Collections – fabrics designed to complement one another;
Stamford and Stour