Carpet weaving is a rich and deeply embedded tradition in Islamic societies. Initially a nomadic tradition, many centers of carpet weaving emerged in the later centuries. Famous centers of carpet weaving were located in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Central Asia, India, Spain and the Balkans. The great artisans in these centers of excellence produced some the finest rugs ever known to man but retained the Islamic tradition of humility in front of God where they would intentionally leave a flaw in their “masterpiece”, only to emphasize the only “perfect” thing in the world is God who is pure and flawless. Hence the expression; “The Persian Flaw”.

The straight lines and edges forming geometric patterns were more popular in designs from central Asia. In Persia and the Indian sub-continent artisans favored the flowing loops and curves of the arabesque.

Silk clothes were worn by nobility and the rich despite Hadith sayings against the wearing of silk. Ottomans, Persians and Moghuls all used silk in clothing. Arabesque patterns, geometric or foliate designs, or garden scenes were depicted in many of these adornments.

Silk and other richly decorated textiles were also used as covering for sacred Quran or for protection during travel (Imam Zamin). Some designs are calligraphic, especially when made for palls to cover a tomb, but others made of nobility often depict large figures of animals, especially majestic symbols of power like the lion and eagle.