"the damask pattern of the curtains"
An anemone damask pattern by William Morris, 1876
Public DomainAn anemone damask pattern by William Morris, 1876 - Credit: PKW

 Damask is a fabric which is decorated with an ornate woven pattern – it may be made of silk, wool, cotton, linen or a synthetic fabric. The style originated in the Middle Ages and takes its name from the city of Damascus, at the heart of the Byzantine and Islamic Empires which first produced this particular style of weaving.

Damask fabric is reversible because of the way in which it is woven, and often consists of only one colour, with the pattern picked out in a glossier thread than the background. There are, however, damask patterns in two colours or more – these often have gold or silver threads woven into them for extra embellishment. Common pattern themes include geometric shapes, flowers and animals. Damask is a popular fabric style for curtains, table linen and other home furnishings.