Dating back to as early as the 8th century B.C, Syrian pottery has evolved during the different millennia and centuries to reach world fame during the Fatimid era when some of the most intricate lusterware ceramic pieces were made and can be still seen today in various museums around the world. During the Mamluk era, the Qishani Ceramics became very popular in Damascus, but the art of making pottery and ceramics kept evolving to a stage where it was known simply as Damascene ceramics.
The Ajami art of adding hand decorated wooden fixtures to ceilings and walls was used by Syrian artisans in the early era of the Umayyad Empire to decorate mosques and palaces. The decorative motifs used in Ajami usually depict illustrations of vegetations, writings and poems. The handicraft is still flourishing in Damascus with products being exported worldwide.
This rich shuttle-woven fabric made using natural silk with gold and silver threads in some cases has been flourishing in Damascus for many decades. It was historically used for clothing but, nowadays, it is mainly used for furniture upholstery and for various other accessories such as handbags. The best quality Brocade is a trademark of Damascus so much so that the reigning English monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, had her wedding gown made out of it.
The finest copper engraved vessels were originally made by the artisans of the Jewish community in Damascus. Items were initially made to cater for household needs, and later on they were made purely for decoration purposes. The handicraft is still strongly present throughout Damascus old city despite the technological advances in its production processes.
Both glass manufacturing and the art of stained glass were developed in ancient Syria during the Phoenicians times. Stained glass continued to develop in Damascus throughout the Roman Period and then later during the Umayyad Empire. Stained glass was extensively used in Damascene houses, churches and mosques in the past, and there are still quite a few artisans working in this beautiful handicraft today.
Taking its name from the Iranian city of Qashan which was most famous for making it, this art of hand colouring ceramics tiles dates back to the Mamluks era. The name of Hammam Al-Qishani Market in Damascus old city is attributed to the Qishani ceramics which decorate some of its walls. Today and 700 years on, the art of making glazed ceramic pieces is still flourishing among Syrian artists.
The streets of Damascus old city were systematically lit since the era of the Mamluks in the 13th century, when public servants used to fire up and maintain oil sconces on the streets of the old city. The art of making chandeliers and lanterns in Damascus started from these early sconces and was developed by artisans into the richly decorated beaded, brass, glass and crystal chandeliers and lanterns which Syria is known for today.
The art of making this handmade white or beige textile with its distinctive gold and silver embroideries originated in Damascus more than 150 years ago. Aghabani cloth was originally made out of natural silk which was abundant in Syria at the time; however, the high quality Syrian cotton is nowadays used to make this beautiful cloth which is widely used as table linen.