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The Syrian Silk Industry, Computing and the Myth of Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding Gown
In this talk Russell Harris will discuss his interest in the Syrian silk industry, which was inspired mainly by a mammoth bout of shopping some years ago in the Suq al-Hamidiyya in Damascus.

Russell will discuss the long-kept secret of silk manufacture and how the technology reached the Middle East. He will touch on various points of immense interest to world history, such as the connection between the Jacquard loom and the beginnings of modern computing, the method of producing a ‘programme’ that can create the various patterns of the particular weave of silk termed ‘brukar’ (brocade), and the by-product of the Syrian silk industry (fresh mulberry juice). He will also debunk a commonly repeated myth that Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth wore a wedding dress of Syrian silk.

Part of the Silk Road : A Living History Talks.

Jun 23, 2021 12:00 PM in London

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Russell Harris
Editor, Department of Research and Publications @The Institute of Ismaili Studies
Russell Harris holds an MA in Oriental Studies from Balliol College, Oxford, and is an established translator of literary works from French and Arabic. He currently works as an editor at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, and is also a contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography, The Routledge Encyclopedia of 19th Century Photography, The Oxford Companion to Food and The Encyclopaedia Islamica.