Robes and Other Clothing

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, traditional articles of Central Asian clothing remained basically unchanged. The classic T-shaped outer robe (generically called a chapan, khalat or don) was worn by nomadic and settled peoples, men, women, and children. Most robes were lightly padded with cotton batting and lined with either locally handwoven cotton cloth, or factory-produced cotton, much of which was imported from Russian mills in brightly colored patterns. The edges were usually finished with a decorative trimming that also served to prevent evil spirits from gaining access.

The most widely used fabrics for outer robes were multi-colored handwoven stripes called bekasab or alacha. From the latter part of the nineteenth century onward, inexpensive Russian printed-cotton was also very popular. Velvets and ikats were costly and only well-off people could afford to wear them. After the Soviets gained control of Central Asia, small textile workshops were collectivized into artels and the more labor-intensive fabrics ceased to be made. Large vertical textile factories were built in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan that produced many kinds of cloth, including silk ikats. These machine-woven ikats were inexpensive and plentiful and quickly caught on with women and girls for their dresses and robes.

SILK CREPE-de-CHINE FAUX-IKAT DRESS (ATRNB-232)

UZBEKISTAN, c.1970s

47.5” length; 32” sleeve tip to sleeve tip
Silk crepe-de-chine printed with a faux-ikat pattern
Two ties at neck
Unlined
Very well made – all edges are machine-hemmed
Cut very full
Very good condition

This dress is made with a light to medium weight silk crepe-de-chine with a matte finish. It has a soft, pleasing hand and drapes nicely. Worn with a belt, it is quite an elegant dress.

Price: $60.00
View Details »

SILK IKAT DRESS (ATRNB-231)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

42” length; 16” shoulder seam to shoulder seam
All-silk “atlas” ikat with a soft silky hand
Printed batik-patterned cotton trim around collar
White rik-rak around neck
Unlined
Good used condition – no stains – needs an ironing

Women’s and girls’ dresses called “kuylak” (Uzbek) or “kurta” (Tajik) took several forms. Smock-like ones with spread collars became popular as everyday wear during the early decades of the Soviet era. Later on dresses often featured short sleeves and fanciful collar treatments like this example. They were most often sewn from machine-made silk “atlas” ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns.

The term “atlas” refers to a silk warp/silk weft satin-weave fabric. Most “atlas” ikat from this era was produced in large Soviet-built textile combines in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The young women in this photograph from an Uzbek fashion magazine (1975) are wearing atlas ikat dresses in the latest styles.

Price: $50.00
View Details »

SILK IKAT DRESS (ATRNB-230)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

45” length; 19” shoulder seam to shoulder seam
All-silk “atlas” ikat with a soft silky hand
Unlined
Hand-sewn
A large size – Cut very full
Good used condition – needs to be ironed

Women’s and girls’ dresses called “kuylak” (Uzbek) or “kurta” (Tajik) took several forms. Smock-like ones with spread collars such as this example first became popular as everyday wear during the early decades of the Soviet era (see archival photograph by Max Penson of an Uzbek family, c.1930s-40s). Later on dresses often featured short sleeves and fanciful collar treatments. They were most often sewn from machine-made silk “atlas” ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns, including printed ikat patterns that were often hard to distinguish from the woven ikats.

The term “atlas” refers to a silk warp/silk weft satin-weave fabric. Most “atlas” ikat from this era was produced in large Soviet-built textile combines in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The young women in the photograph from an Uzbek fashion magazine (1975) are wearing atlas ikat dresses in the latest styles.

Price: $45.00
View Details »

FAUX-IKAT SILK DRESS (ATRBBSC-229)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

42” (shoulder to hem);14.5” shoulder to shoulder
Machine-printed faux-ikat on heavy-weight silk sateen
Printed cotton facing
Unlined
Good used condition except for scattered stains in the back (see photos) and two small ¼” holes (see photos).
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 94

Women’s and girls’ dresses called “kuylak” (Uzbek) or “kurta” (Tajik) took several forms. Smock-like ones with spread collars such this example first became popular as everyday wear during the Soviet era. They were most often made of atlas ikat and had a more Western cut.

The young women in this archival photograph by Max Penson are wearing kuylaks. The family members are posing by their grape arbor, Uzbekistan, c.1930s-40s.

Price: $40.00
View Details »

GIRL'S SILK IKAT DRESS (ATRNB-228)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

42” length; 14.5” shoulder seam to shoulder seam
All-silk “atlas” ikat with a soft silky hand
Printed floral cotton facing
2 black cloth decorative “knot” buttons
Unlined
Very good used condition

Women’s and girls’ dresses called “kuylak” (Uzbek) or “kurta” (Tajik) took several forms. Smock-like ones with spread collars first became popular as everyday wear during the early decades of the Soviet era. Later on dresses often featured short sleeves and fanciful collar treatments like this example. They were most often sewn from machine-made silk “atlas” ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns.

The term “atlas” refers to a silk warp/silk weft satin-weave fabric. Most “atlas” ikat from this era was produced in large Soviet-built textile combines in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The young women in this photograph from an Uzbek fashion magazine (1975) are wearing atlas ikat dresses in the latest styles.

Price: $50.00
View Details »

SILK FAUX-IKAT DRESS (ATRSC-227)

Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, c. 1970s-80s

43” length; 16.5” shoulder seam to shoulder seam
All-silk “atlas” faux-ikat with a soft silky hand
Printed cotton facing
Unlined
Good used condition – a few minor stains, but hardly noticeable in the folds and pattern of the fabric.
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 94

Women’s and girls’ dresses called “kuylak” (Uzbek) or “kurta” (Tajik) took several forms. Smock-like ones with spread collars such as this example first became popular as everyday wear during the early decades of the Soviet era (see archival photograph by Max Penson of an Uzbek family, c.1930s-40s). Later on dresses often featured short sleeves and fanciful collar treatments. They were most often sewn from machine-made silk “atlas” ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns, including printed ikat patterns that were often hard to distinguish from the woven ikats.

The term “atlas” refers to a silk warp/silk weft satin-weave fabric. Most “atlas” ikat from this era was produced in large Soviet-built textile combines in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The young women in the bottom photograph from an Uzbek fashion magazine (1975) are wearing atlas ikat dresses in the latest styles.

Price: $50.00
View Details »

SILK IKAT DRESS (ATRSC-226)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

47” length; 15” shoulder seam to shoulder seam
All-silk “atlas” ikat with a soft silky hand
Printed floral cotton facing
5 round white decorative plastic buttons
Unlined
Removable shoulder pads
Good used condition – some scattered stains in one area of front ruffle, but hardly noticeable in the folds and pattern of the fabric.
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 96

Women’s and girls’ dresses called “kuylak” (Uzbek) or “kurta” (Tajik) took several forms. Smock-like ones with spread collars first became popular as everyday wear during the early decades of the Soviet era. Later on dresses often featured short sleeves and fanciful collar treatments like this example. They were most often sewn from machine-made silk “atlas” ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns.

The term “atlas” refers to a silk warp/silk weft satin-weave fabric. Most “atlas” ikat from this era was produced in large Soviet-built textile combines in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The young women in this photograph from an Uzbek fashion magazine (1975) are wearing atlas ikat dresses in the latest styles.

Price: $40.00
View Details »

WOMAN'S PARANJA (ATRNB-225)

Uzbekistan, 2nd quarter 20th century

50” length shoulder to hem; 43” length of false sleeves
Silk hand-embroidery on silk taffeta
Fully lined with printed cotton fabrics
Trim is hand-embroidered with tiny cross-stitches
Excellent condition – only one small stain on the lining (see last image)

The paranja was a cape-like garment with long false sleeves that were fastened together and hung down the length of the back. Draped over a woman’s head, it was designed to envelop her completely. Most paranjas were made from “banoras” – a handwoven, silk warp/cotton weft cloth with narrow black pin stripes on a dark green, blue, or gray ground. Except for any embellishments such as tassels and embroidery, the overall look was rather drab.

This elegant paranja is the exception. Made of lustrous taffeta that appears both mauve and bronze depending on the light, it was no doubt worn by a well-to-do woman on special occasions.

While the outside of the paranja usually presented a rather plain face to the world, the inside was often lined with imported Russian printed cotton. The variety of patterns seemed endless, and often they were strikingly beautiful – seen only by the woman who wore them. The body of this paranja is lined with a traditional paisley print. However the wide facing material is unusual – the pattern was obviously inspired by a Japanese design.

The archival photograph was taken around 1910 and shows an Uzbek woman posing for the camera in her paranja with her horsehair face veil thrown back over her head.

Price: $350.00
View Details »

UZBEK MAN'S BEKASAB ROBE (ATRNB-224)

Uzbekistan, 2nd half 20th century

44” (shoulder to hem) – 25” (sleeve length shoulder to cuff)
Silk warp/cotton weft handwoven bekasab stripe
Plain cotton lining
Handwoven bekasab facing along bottom of hem and cuff facings
Very good original condition except for two stains visible in photos – one on front near tab, other in back near hem; lining has stains

Bekasab (or bekasam) was a heavyweight, handwoven, multicolored striped fabric. It was produced in vast quantities in Uzbekistan. Woven with a silk warp and cotton weft, the surface was usually polished to a high sheen. It was also characterized by a fine horizontal ribbing. Extremely popular, it was a favorite robe material and was worn by everyone – from Khans to the common man, woman, and child.

This striking bekasab fabric is finely woven and still retains its original luster and moire finish. It has a Western-syle touch with the addition of an inside pocket and a tab closure.

Price: $300.00
View Details »

WOMAN'S JELAK (ATRSC-215)

Uzbekistan, circa 1960s-70s

Samarkand region, Uzbekistan
32.5” length – shoulder to hem (not including false sleeves)
Silk atlas ikat
Silk multi-colored cross-stitch hand-embroidery
Black machine-embroidery
Metal spangles; pearl, glass & plastic buttons; tiny glass beads
Hand-braided trim on false sleeves; cotton tassels
Lined with printed cotton
Excellent condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 88

Very short capelike jelaks such as this date from around the 1960s -70s and were popular in the rural areas around Samarkand. Like their longer jelak cousins, these were worn by Tajik women as headdresses, with the long false sleeves joined behind. Ikat, both woven and printed, and solid red cloth were the preferred materials. They were usually ornamented with many pearl or white glass buttons, braid, tassels, and cross-stitching.

This is a particularly beautiful example with lots of fine details and a striking rose-strewn lining. Most jelaks are not fully lined.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

UZBEK SILK ROBE (ATRRT-214)

Uzbekistan, fourth quarter 19th century

52” (shoulder to hem); 66” (cuff to cuff); 23.5” (sleeve length)
Handwoven silk (“shohi”)
Russian roller-printed cotton lining (three different prints)
Handwoven adras ikat facings
Russian yarn-dyed stripe on inside hem and cuffs
Loop-manipulation handwoven silk trim
Good condition except for areas of discoloration on the black silk, mainly down the center back. All fabrics still strong. No stains on lining.
Lining fabrics illustrated in RUSSIAN TEXTILES, pages 72; 84; 192

This plain black outer robe belies its beautiful inside. Three different Russian prints are set off by a striking Uzbek ikat and a lovely Russian yarn-dyed stripe. The main pattern of meandering scrollwork and floral bouquets is particularly refined. Completely original and entirely hand-sewn, this robe displays well either as is, or turned inside-out.

If you are interested in this silk robe and would like more information please contact Susan Meller.

Price: $375.00
View Details »

WOMAN'S SILK BROCADE ROBE (ATRSC-213)

Uzbekistan, third quarter 19th century

50” (shoulder to hem); 65” (cuff to cuff); 21.5” (sleeve length)
Factory-woven silk brocade (probably imported from Kashgar – called Chinese Turkestan at the time)
Russian block-printed cotton lining
Finely handwoven Uzbek silk bekasab facings
Loop-manipulation handwoven trim
Fair to good condition – areas of discoloration in the brocade; two damaged areas in lining (see detail photos). Otherwise all fabrics are strong.
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 73

Imported silk brocade was an expensive fabric that only the well-to-do could afford to wear. It was usually imported from Russia or the region of western China then known as Chinese Turkestan. This robe was made from silk brocade probably woven in Kashgar.

The Russian block-printed paisley cloth is a beautiful example, produced at a time when some Russian mills were still using wooden blocks, while more modernized mills had switched to copper roller-printing. The green is a vivid as the day it was printed (it often faded away in sunlight) and was achieved by over-printing yellow on blue. The faint outlines of the blocks can be seen.

Price: $300.00
View Details »

TAJIK WEDDING VEIL (ATBBRNB-170)

Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, 20th century

17” length x 18” width
Sturdy handmade silk “netting” attached to loosely handwoven cotton borders
Outer borders made of factory cotton and red flannel cotton
Machine-stitched outer border
Fair/good condition – one 1” long area of damaged netting along left center edge (can be repaired); some slight red color run along bottom border; area of discoloration in bottom right corner

This veil may be all original, or it may be a marriage of a recycled older netting and a more recent machine-sewn border. It would have had a tie attached to either end of the red flannel so that the veil could be secured around the bride’s head, thus hiding her face.

It makes an interesting study piece where one can get a close-up look at the intricate method of constructing the silk gridwork.

Price: $35.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S JELAK (ATRNB-207)

South Uzbekistan, second quarter 20th century

35” length x 30” width (closed)
Silk hand-embroidery (cross-stitch and laid stitch) on handwoven cotton with narrow dark blue (faded to grey) stripes; embroidered stylized tulips
Unlined
Silk woven and embroidered trimming applied along edge
Silk fringe and three pearl buttons
Good condition

While similar in appearance to a woman’s paranja, a jelak was much shorter and never meant to conceal. It was worn on top of a rural woman’s headdress and draped like a shawl over the head and shoulders, with the false sleeves hanging in back (see first and third photos). The hem was deliberately left unfinished in the belief that by so doing a woman could bear many children.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

TURKMEN CHILD’S KURTA (ATRSC-205)

Central Asia, mid-20th century

21” length x 24” cuff to cuff
Silk or synthetic silk factory-woven stripe
Printed and plain cottons
Printed-cotton lining
Machine-sewn
Good used condition – some light soiling on front
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 130

While these shirts (kurta) may not have been considered as magical as the child’s bib-like elek, they too were protective. Patchwork was thought to confuse the jealous Evil Eye, driving it away from the young child wearing it. The hem was deliberately left unfinished in order to insure that the child would continue to grow.

Price: $75.00
View Details »

UZBEK BOY’S IKAT COAT (ATRNB-184)

Uzbekistan, third quarter 20th century

26” length x 35” cuff to cuff
Silk “atlas” ikat (machine-woven)
Hand-quilted
Lined with a printed-cotton shirting stripe
Two pearl buttons
Very good condition except for stain on bottom front hem

Except for very young children, who needed extra protection from evil spirits, boys and girls dressed much the same way as their parents.
The two shiny pearl buttons probably served as amulets to ward off the Evil Eye, who was notoriously jealous of little children.

Price: $35.00
View Details »

SILK MOIRE ROBE (ATRSC-178)

Uzbekistan, c.1870s-1880s

50” (shoulder to hem) x 75” (cuff to cuff) – cut full
Heavy silk with fine horizontal ribbing; pronounced moire finish
Fully lined with Russian printed-cotton
Silk woven-stripe facings
Black cotton binding with machine-embroidery (is not original to the robe)
Good condition except for scattered stains (The most obvious being the light-colored one on the front panel. The lining cotton is in excellent condition (no stains). All fabrics are strong.

Solid-color all-silk robes, such as this example, tend to appear less in shops and museum collections than their showier ikat counterparts. But open them up and a richly patterned world is revealed, usually one with beautiful imported Russian cotton prints such as this dramatic example. The red and black are favorite Russian colors – the pattern is a simulated classical woven brocade or damask.

This handsome woman’s robe is cut very full as it would have been worn over layers of other robes. It is quilted and padded with cotton wool for extra warmth. The sleeves were made extra long in order to conceal the hands as custom dictated. They also served to keep one’s hand’s warm in winter.

Price: $200.00
View Details »

CHILD’S VELVET COAT (ATBBRNB-167)

Bukhara(?), Uzbekistan. c.1990s

17.5” shoulder to hem; 9.5” sleeve length
Dark blue velvet (feels like silk, but might be synthetic)
Machine-embroidered; Lurex threads – (One blue flower petal was deliberately left unfinished as custom dictated.)
Synthetic cloth lining
Single button closure
Very good condition

This cute little robe was made for a young boy to wear on festive occasions.
It’s a smaller version of the traditional Bukharan man’s embroidered velvet robe that would have been worn at weddings.
While it’s not hand-embroidered, it still has the look of a special little coat.

Price: $25.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S PRINTED TROUSERS (ATRSC-161)

Uzbekistan, c.1980s-90s

38” length; 7″ cuff openings
Printed silk satin with cotton boll and ikat pattern
Unlined
Drawstring top needs an elastic or ribbon insert
Excellent condition – no stains, color runs, fading, or damage
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 99

Under their dresses, women wore long loose-fitting trousers called “lozim” (Uzbek), or “shalwars” (Tajik) with a drawstring top that rested on the hips. The upper part was usually made with a less expensive fabric. The narrow cuffs were often embellished with embroidery or some kind of fancy trimming.

Traditionally, these trousers were worn from childhood through old age. During the latter decades of the Soviet era, young women began to forgo wearing trousers underneath their dresses, like these stylish young ladies from an Uzbek fashion magazine of 1975.

The printed fabric of these trousers is an interesting combination of traditional ikat motifs with cotton bolls.

Price: $50.00
View Details »

UZBEK BROCADE BOY’S ROBE (ATRRT-151)

Uzbekistan, early 20th century

30” length x 41” cuff to cuff
Russian silk brocade with gold and silver metallic threads
Russian printed-cotton lining (center back lining panel has faded)
Good condition except for some wear to the metallic threads; a few stains on lining; and fading to the back lining.
Illustrated in RUSSIAN TEXTILES, pages 110-11

Except for very young children, who needed extra protection from evil spirits, boys and girls dressed much the same way as their parents. The stand-up collar as seen as this robe, distinguishes a man’s robe from a woman’s. So this robe was made for a young boy from a well-to do family who could afford the costly imported Russian brocade.

Price: $300.00
View Details »

CHILD’S BEKASAB ROBE (ATRNB-126)

Uzbekistan, circa 1960s

20” length x 33” cuff to cuff
Silk warp/cotton weft, Lurex stripes
Faux-ikat cotton lining
Hand-quilted
Very good used condition

This cute little robe was made for a young boy. The bekasab striped material was machine-made; the narrow edging was probably handwoven; and the faux-ikat was most likely produced in an Uzbek textile combine.

Price: $60.00
View Details »

UZBEK HEADBAND (ATOTRNB-125)

Uzbekistan, first half 20th century

21” x 3.5” (as shown, but not including ties)
Very fine silk cross-stitch hand-embroidery
Russian printed-cotton on either end of embroidery
Russian printed-cotton backing
Fair condition; minor embroidery wear; colors seem somewhat dulled; red cotton ends and ties probably added at a later date

This embroidery may or may not have started out as a headband. The two Turkey-red printed cottons and the printed cotton ties were definitely added at a later date than the embroidery.
The printed cotton backing is a Russian export fabric.

Price: $60.00
View Details »

UZBEK HEADBAND (ATOTRNB-126)

Uzbekistan, first half 20th century

22” x 3.25
Very fine silk cross-stitch hand-embroidery
Russian printed-cotton backing (c.1900)
Fair to poor condition; embroidery wear; color runs; dirty

This embroidery probably was made to serve as a headband, however the end ties are missing. The printed cotton backing is a Russian export fabric with an Art Nouveau poppy pattern.
The triangular motifs on the embroidery represent amulets (“tumars”).

Price: $50.00
View Details »

TEKKE TURKMEN COLLAR TRIM (ATOTRNB-123)

Tekke Turkmen, Central Asia. First half 20th century

22” x 4.5”
Hand-embroidered very fine silk lacing stitch (“kesdi”) on red handwoven silk
Handwoven checked and striped silk backing and indigo cotton blockprint
Excellent condition

Turkmen women embroidered elaborate trim for the collars of their robes.
The stitching was very fine and when the robes were no longer serviceable, the embroidered collars were often removed and reused on another robe.
Stylized tulips form a border.

Price: $50.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S HEADBAND (ATBBRSC-111)

Bukhara, Uzbekistan. 2nd half 20th century

4.25” x 56”
Metallic gold and silver hand-embroidery with spangles and glass beads
Black and rose silk velvet inserts
Silk jacquard backing and ties
Very good condition; small area of damage to edge of silk jacquard
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page112

Gold embroidered headbands called “peshanaband” were favored by the ladies of Bukhara.

Price: $50.00
View Details »