From an ethnological point of view, these textiles constitute an exception in the process of traditional decoration. Cretan woven fabrics do not present isolated designs but complete complex compositions of geometrical motifs and colours in perfect harmony.
It would not be an exaggeration to suppose that this type of decoration not only came from Byzantium but was actually designed by master weavers in the workshops of the Imperial Court, craftsmen of artistic refinement and great experience, with a profound understanding of geometry.
It is probable that these geometric woven fabrics came to Crete in 1092 with the Twelve Lords of Byzantium and their families.
The patterns were passed down from one generation to the next, the nobility multiplied and the patterns were transferred to the people, becoming a tradition and folk heritage for Cretan women weavers over the following centuries and the common artistic resource of the island.
All weaving women draw on the same reserve, and although each may believe that she is creating something new, in fact her inventiveness is limited to minor variations on traditional motifs. There is no entirely new and original creation in weaving tradition, or in folk art in general. It is very difficult, almost impossible, for an exponent to overcome the limitations imposed on him by local artistic tradition - limitations of technique, style and expression.
This is why we believe that the Byzantine patterns of the Comnenes have been preserved in the woven fabrics we have found in Crete, dated to the early 19th century. This astonishing fact also constitutes extremely important evidence of 11th-century Byzantine civilization.