selves to the realm of abstraction and intricate floral designs, known as Arabesque, with the Arabic script as a distinctive feature.

During the ten centuries of Arab! Islamic expansion, arts and crafts were treated in a unified way. Islamic artists and artisans concentrated on woodwork, ivory inlays, glass-making, ceramics, textile weaving and rug making. Their sense of balance and their use of color were outstanding. They drew upon imaginary and natural sources to arrive at pure designs and forms with which they covered both walls and objects with mosaic, tiles, carvings and paintings.

The woven textiles of the Muslims laid the foundations in Sicily for one of Italy's later and most important industries. The Arab cape woven for the twelfth century coronation of the King of

  Sicily, Roger II, is only one example of this influence in craftsmanship. Cotton muslin (from Mosul), damask linen (from Damascus), wool cloth (from Shiraz), and fustian (from Fustat, Egypt's first Islamic capital), were prized during the European Renaissance.

Islamic craftsmen excelled in the bookmaking arts, such as leather binding which left a deep mark upon Europe, manuscript illustrations, miniature painting-especially in book illustrations-and, above all, the art of making paper. Their knowledge of paper making was brought to Sicily and Spain and then to Italy and France, generating a great increase in book production in the West and, thus, in learning.

Muslim scientists also contributed to the advancement of craft technology. Adopting from


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