damascening (dăməsēnˈĭng) [key] or damaskeening –skēnˈ–, the art of decorating iron, steel, or bronze with inlaid threads of gold or silver, or producing a watered effect in forging, as in sword blades, gun barrels, and various metal objects. The method, long practiced in the Middle East as well as in China and Japan, was highly developed in Italy. The inlay forms a delicate and intricate pattern upon the contrasting background. The whole fabric is penetrated by the ornamental treatment, so that grinding does not remove it.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on damascening from Fact Monster:

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