Islamic Pattern Units الوحدات الزخرفية الإسلامية

Islamic Pattern Units الوحدات الزخرفية الإسلامية Islamic patterns are divided to four major units: geometric unit, vegetation unit, animal based unit and Arabic calligraphy unit.

Introduction is translated and summarised by Esra Alhamal

original Arabic text: Source: AlNahas, U. (2006). Units of Islamic Patterns. 17th ed. Cairo: T. DN.

Islamic patterns are divided to four major units: geometric unit, vegetation unit, animal based unit and Arabic calligraphy unit.

Geometric unit is the most significant and most notable in the world of Islamic patterns. All the geometric patterns start with circles creating shapes that are equal in size that are connected in seemingly complex ways. In fact, the geometric patterns have simple rules. The stars created in the geometric patterns are the most representative. That type of pattern has spread in the Mamluk period in Egypt and Syria, the Saljuk period in Iraq and the Moorish period in North Africa. The patterns are used on wood, metal and paper.

Vegetation unit first came from the Greek and Byzantine arts. Then they were heavily influenced by Persian arts. This type is also used on a number of mediums. It is also included within the geometric patterns to fill the space.

Animal based unit is inspired from animal shapes, but look very abstract in comparison. These are mostly Persian and Byzantine inspired. This is commonly used in detailed textiles.

Arabic calligraphy unit includes several writing styles such as Thulth, Kufei and so on. The shapes of the writing had a pattern of its own and it completed the geometric and abstract patterns. 

The book also includes over 200 patterns (six fold, eight fold, twelve fold and more). 

الكتاب بالعربي وموجود كامل في الرابط في الأسفل. المقدمة التاريخية مفيدة وتستحق القرأة. 

Source: AlNahas, U. (2006). Units of Islamic Patterns. 17th ed. Cairo: T. DN.