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 IKAT CHEMISE (ATRSC-227)

Uzbekistan, c.1990s

48” length; 22” armpit to armpit
All-silk khanatlas ikat (soft silky hand)
Red cotton facing
Very good condition – three minor stains on bottom front butterfly (hardly noticeable)
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, p.97

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 one. They were most often made of machine-made atlas ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns – this example being more elaborate than most and unusual in depicting butterflies.

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

Price: $60.00
View Details »

SILK IKAT CHEMISE (ATRSC-226)

Uzbekistan, c.1990s

46” length; 19” armpit to armpit
All-silk khanatlas ikat (soft silky hand)
Machine-embroidered trim with gold Lurex
Unlined
Very good condition except for some slight color runs and stain (see photos)
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, p.97

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 one. They were most often made of machine-made atlas ikat in a seemingly endless array of patterns – this example being more elaborate than most.

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

Price: $45.00
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 »

UZBEK MAN'S BEKASAB ROBE (ATRNB-223)

Uzbekistan, last quarter 19th century

47” (shoulder to hem) – 26” (sleeve length shoulder to cuff)
Silk warp/cotton weft handwoven bekasab stripe
Russian block-printed cotton lining
Handwoven bekasab facing along bottom of hem and cuff facings
Black cotton sateen trimming (not original to robe)
Very good condition – fabrics strong

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 bekasab fabric is particularly beautiful. Finely woven, it still retains its original luster. The finely woven bekasab facing along the hem is also in like-new condition with the original polished finish. The green areas seen on the hand-blocked lining cloth were created by printing yellow over blue.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

WOMAN'S SILK IKAT ROBE (ATRNB-221)

Uzbekistan, third quarter 20th century

45” (shoulder to hem) x 21” (sleeve length shoulder to cuff)
Satin-weave, silk atlas ikat with red weft
Applied hand-woven cotton trim
Printed-cotton lining (fabric made and printed in Uzbekistan)
Yarn-dyed stripe facings
All hand-sewn
Very good original condition except for a few small stains (see last two images)

Atlas ikat is woven on a four-harness loom. Often the weft threads are dyed red (as in this ikat) or black to make them blend in better with the patterned warp threads and to impart richer color to the fabric (as the wefts are slightly visible on the surface of the cloth).

The sleeves were long in order to cover the hands as custom dictated. They can be folded up into large cuffs. This robe is ready to wear, including inside-out. The fabric is soft with a nice drape. Tulip and amulet motifs.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

VINTAGE UZBEK STRIPED MAN'S ROBE (ATRNB-220)

Uzbekistan, last third 20th century

48” long; 20” sleeve length from shoulder seam
Silk and cotton yarn-dyed stripe fabric
Fully lined with a sturdy silk, silk blend, or artificial silk
Very good condition – clean, strong fabric. Ready to wear.

Silk ikat robes were worn by well-off Central Asian people, however most people wore either woven striped robes (called “bekasab” or “alacha”), or printed cotton robes made from inexpensive Russian or Uzbek cloth.

This robe is made from a mill-woven cloth that simulates a hand-woven bekasab – minus the horizontal ribbing. It is cut full and has a soft hand and nice drape.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
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 »

WOMAN’S IKAT TROUSERS (ATRNB-210)

Uzbekistan, c. 1970s-80s

34” length; 27” waist (as shown); 5.5” bottom leg opening
Pleated all-silk khanatlas ikat; unlined
Printed cotton top
Machine-embroidered trim with gold Lurex on cuffs
Very good condition

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.

Price: $45.00
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 »

NORWICH SHAWL (ATRVFNB-210)

England, circa 1930s

54” x 60”
Taupe wool twill-weave ground with wool figures in seven colors
Silk fringe added by hand, one separate tassel at a time
Unlined
Has condition issues – scattered moth holes; old repairs; area of discoloration to the background. No color runs.

All in all, still an attractive piece that would work well as a table cover. Or one wouldn’t have to feel too guilty cutting it up for pillows (enough good fabric for several), or other sewing projects.

The first four photos each show one quarter of the shawl in this order:
Top left quarter; top right quarter; bottom left quarter; bottom right quarter.
(It was too large for me to photograph the entire piece.)

Price: $75.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S PARANJA (ATRNB-209)

Uzbekistan, early 20th century

57” length
Silk hand-embroidery on handwoven silk warp/cotton weft “banoras” cloth
Adras ikat facings
Fully lined with Russian roller-printed cotton in an unusual pattern
Loop-manipulation trim over-embroidered with small cross-stitches
Lots of small white glass and pearl buttons
Metal spangles and tiny glass beads on tassels
Good worn condition – a few small stains on the lining
(A length of Russian printed-cotton with almost the identical pattern is listed in VINTAGE FABRIC BAZAAR, item VFOTSC-119)

The paranja was a capelike 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 and conceal her completely. Many paranjas were made from the same material as this example – a handwoven, pin-striped, silk warp/cotton weft cloth called “banoras”. Sometimes it was given a moire finish.

While the outside of the paranja usually presented a rather plain face to the world, except when embellished with embroidery and trimmings, the inside was usually 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 two openings on either side of the front enabled the woman to extend her arms while still remaining concealed inside her paranja.

The archival photograph was taken in 1911 in Samarkand by Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorskii and is from the Library of Congress.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
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.

Price: $125.00
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 »

WOMAN’S SILK IKAT ROBE (ATRSC-203)

Uzbekistan, third quarter 20th century

48” (shoulder to hem) x 74” (cuff to cuff)
Satin-weave, silk atlas ikat with red weft
Applied hand-woven cotton trim
Printed-cotton lining on body and facings; plain white cotton sleeve lining
Very good original condition – no stains or damage
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 65

Atlas ikat is woven on a four-harness loom. Often the weft threads are dyed red or black to make them blend in better with the patterned warp threads and to impart richer color to the fabric (as the wefts are slightly visible on the surface of the cloth).
The sleeves were long in order to cover the hands as custom dictated. They can be folded up into large cuffs.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

TURKMEN WOMAN’S COAT (ATRNB-201)

Turkmenistan, second half 20th century

44.5” length x 22” sleeve length
Solid green felted wool broadcloth
Silk hand-embroidery
Lined with printed cotton
Handwoven dark red silk trim with narrow braided black edging
Dark red silk velvet gussets under arms
Traditional Turkmen handwoven striped facings
Excellent condition

Turkmen women’s coats had intricate embroidery unlike the men’s coats that had very little or none at all. A man’s coat was cut differently around the neckline and had a stand-up quilted collar.

Women would often wear these coats thrown over their head, more like a cape than a coat (see bottom photo of Turkmen women).

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

UZBEK PRINTED COTTON ROBE (ATRSC-200)

Uzbekistan, c.1960s-70s

42” (shoulder to hem) x 58” (cuff to cuff)
High quality printed cotton sateen with over-size poppy pattern
Lined with hand-woven cotton fabric
Hand-woven cotton trim
Good condition except for stains on lower front left panel (see bottom photo); lining has some small stains (looks like black ink).
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 78

Silk ikat robes were worn by well-off Central Asian people, however most people wore either woven striped robes (called “bekasab” or “alacha”), or printed cotton robes made from inexpensive Russian or Uzbek cloth. It was lightweight, colorful, and readily available. Printed patterns were not gender- or color-specific. The lack of a stand-up collar shows that this was a woman’s robe.

The Soviets built large vertical textile combines in Central Asia – the largest of which was the Tashkent Textile Combine in Uzbekistan. They installed up-to-date textile-printing machinery and sent skilled managers and technicians to man the operations.
The quality of both the woven cloth and the printing could be very good. The printed fabrics that make up this robe were most likely produced in the huge Tashkent Textile Combine.

Price: $125.00
View Details »

UZBEK BOY’S SILK STRIPE ROBE (ATRNB-198)

Uzbekistan, circa 1980s-90s

21” length x 36” cuff to cuff
Silk warp/cotton weft machine-woven stripe
Printed cotton lining with paisley pattern
Ikat facings
Hand-woven cotton trim
Very good condition except for small stain on front panel and some very light purple discoloration on gray stripes (see detail photo)

This little robe was made for a young boy. Except for children around five years old and under, who needed extra protection from evil spirits, boys and girls dressed much the same way as their parents. However a child’s robe was more likely to have small amulets attached.

This robe is clean and ready to wear – by any small child. The silk fabric has a soft and luxurious feel with a pleasing luster.
SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

UZBEK BOY’S FAUX-BEKASAB ROBE (ATRBBNB-195)

Uzbekistan, circa 1960s-70s

21” length x 36” cuff to cuff
Silk warp/cotton weft machine-woven, printed-bekasab stripe
Self facings
Printed cotton lining
Hand-quilted
Hand-woven cotton trim – small cotton tufts on back of neck and cuffs
Fair used condition – some soiling and a few vey small holes

This little robe was made for a young boy. Except for children around five years old and under, who needed extra protection from evil spirits, boys and girls dressed much the same way as their parents. However a child’s robe was more likely to have small amulets attached. The boy in the bottom photo by Max Penson (Uzbekistan, c.1930s-40s) is wearing a bekasab robe.

Bekasab was a type of striped material characterized by pronounced horizontal ribbing and often a high polish. It was woven with a silk warp and a cotton weft. Traditionally, it was handwoven and finished with a sheen that when achieved by a pounding technique, produced a moire effect.
Towards the latter part of the 20th century, bekasab-look cloth was woven by machine in the Central Asian Soviet-built textile combines.

This fabric has the characteristic horizontal ribbing, but the multi-colored stripe pattern was printed in order to simulate a yarn-dyed woven bekasab stripe.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S CHAKAN (ATRNB-191)

Tajikistan, circa 1970s-80s

39” (shoulder to hem) x 58” (cuff to cuff)
Silk hand-embroidery on red cotton
Partially lined (back bodice) with plain cotton
Good used condition – no color runs, loose threads, holes or tears.

Elaborately embroidered garments were usually reserved for festivities. Women generally embroidered their own clothes, which enabled them to show off their sewing skills. This type of loose embroidered smock is called a “chakan” and was most often red like this example. They were made in southern Tajikistan and worn by Tajik women for special occasions.
SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S BROCADE ROBE (ATRNB-190)

Uzbekistan, early 20th century

50” (shoulder to hem) x 62” (cuff to cuff)
Russian factory-woven brocade with gold metallic threads
Russian roller-printed cotton lining in very good condition
Loop-manipulation hand-woven trim
Adras ikat facings; Russian yarn-dyed cotton stripe along inside hem
Very good condition except for the ikat facing fabric which is worn and has many splits and one 3” repair on left side (see bottom photo).

Imported Russian brocade like this was an expensive fabric that only the well-to-do could afford to wear. The unusual lining pattern of roses and bows is overprinted with fine black lines in order to give the appearance of a woven fabric.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
View Details »

UZBEK BOY’S BEKASAB ROBE (ATRNB-185)

Uzbekistan, circa 1960s-70s

25” length x 45” cuff to cuff
Silk warp/cotton weft machine-woven “bekasab” stripe
Printed cotton lining (design looks like little sailboats)
Hand-quilted
Hand-woven cotton trim – small cotton tufts on top of shoulders
Good used condition – some soiling, especially inside cuffs; trim missing around right cuff

This little robe was made for a young boy. Except for children around five years old and under, who needed extra protection from evil spirits, boys and girls dressed much the same way as their parents. However a child’s robe was more likely to have small amulets attached. The boy in the bottom photo by Max Penson (Uzbekistan, c. 1930s-40s) is wearing a bekasab robe).

Bekasab was a type of striped material characterized by pronounced horizontal ribbing and often a high polish. It was woven with a silk warp and a cotton weft. Traditionally, it was handwoven and finished with a sheen that when achieved by a pounding technique, produced a moire effect.
Towards the latter part of the 20th century, bekasab-look cloth was woven by machine in the Central Asian Soviet-built textile combines.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
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 »

WOMAN’S SILK ROBE (ATRSC-175)

Uzbekistan, c.1870-1880s

50.5” (shoulder to hem) x 56” (cuff to cuff) – cut full
Shohi silk (similar to taffeta)
Fully lined with Russian printed-cotton in a chintz-like pattern
Adras ikat facing (silk warp/cotton weft) – still retains its original polish
Russian yarn-dyed stripes on inner cuffs and hem
Purple silk loop-manipulation trim
All original; good condition except for scattered stains (the light-colored spots could be hidden by a touch of ink or dye to match). Both shohi silk and cotton lining cloth still strong.
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 58

Solid-color all-silk “shohi” 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 framed by tantalizing ikat facings.

The Russian roller-printed lining is reminiscent of an English or French chintz pattern.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
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 »

WOMAN’S JELAK (ATRSC-158)

Samarkand region, c.1960s-70s

32” length (not including false sleeves)
Silk atlas ikat
Silk multi-colored cross-stitch hand-embroidery
Black machine-embroidery on front edges and hem
Lots of pearl buttons and silver metal spangles
10-kopek Soviet coin dated 1936
Hand-braided trim on false sleeves; cotton tassels
Fully lined with two different printed cottons
Good condition – some small stains on the ikat (not very obvious)
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.

Price: $125.00
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: $350.00
View Details »

TURKMEN CHILD’S ROBE (ATRSC-150)

Tekke Turkmen, Central Asia. Mid-20th century

19” length x 24” cuff to cuff
Hand-woven traditional Turkmen silk alacha
Silk hand-embroidery
Printed lining
Very good condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 119

Except for very young children, who needed extra protection from evil spirits, boys and girls dressed much the same way as their parents. All openings were surrounded by embroidery or trimming in order to keep evil spirits out.

The red hand-woven stripes cloth, called “alacha”, is a traditional Turkmen fabric, woven by women on narrow floor looms set up in their homes.
Hook and eyes have been added (probably not original to the piece) and can easily be removed.

Price: $75.00
View Details »

TURKMEN WOMAN’S TROUSER CUFF (ATBBRNB-103)

Central Asia, mid to 3rd quarter 20th century

16” (length) x 14” (across top) x 5” (bottom of cuff)
Silk hand-embroidery
Hand-woven striped-silk fabric
Lined with maroon factory-made, plain-weave cotton
Embroidery in very good condition; some damage in silk stripe (see bottom detail photo)

Turkmen women and girls wore loose-fitting trousers (called “balak”) under their dresses. The narrow cuffs were usually embellished with embroidery and traditionally were attached to hand-woven, striped-silk fabric. The upper parts of the trousers were made from less expensive material.
When the upper part wore out, the embroidered cuffs were often cut off and reused on another pair of trousers.

Price: $30.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S EMBROIDERED WEDDING ROBE (ATRSC-130)

Kashkadarya, Uzbekistan. c.1960s-70s

42” length x 52” cuff to cuff
Machine-embroidered satin-weave green silk
Yellow and white rickrack
Applied machine-embroidered cotton trim
Printed cotton lining
Excellent condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 80

Elaborately embroidered garments were usually reserved for festivities. Women generally embroidered their own clothes, which also enabled them to show off their sewing skills. However, this wedding robe may not have been made by the bride herself as it was a popular style in this region and many variations of it can be seen.
It took considerable skill to embroider this garment, even though it was done on a sewing machine.

Price: $125.00
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 »

TEKKE TURKMEN COLLAR TRIM (ATOTRNB-122)

Tekke Turkmen, Central Asia. First half 20th century

41” x 3”
Hand-embroidered very fine silk lacing stitch (“kesdi”) on dark indigo handwoven silk
Handwoven checked cotton backing
Good condition; black embroidery is corroded in places

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.
The center detail of this collar is shown in the two detail photographs.

ON HOLD

Price: $100.00
View Details »

BUKHARAN CHILD’S BOOTS (ATRBBSC-118)

Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Late 20th century

7.5”high (including heel) x 7” (heel to toe)
Hand-embroidered with gold and silvery-gold metallic thread on dark blue velvet
Sequins
Soft pile lining
Rubber soles
Very good condition, gently worn
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 118

Bukharan embroiderers were famous for their elaborate gold embroidery called “zarduzi”. Traditionally, the master embroiderers were only men, as it was thought that a woman’s hands and breath would tarnish the gold.
These boots were made for a young child to wear on special occasions.
Only one side of each boot is embroidered.

Price: $30.00
View Details »

WOMAN’S KHOREZM ROBE (ATRSC-117)

Khorezm, Uzbekistan. Late 19th century

47” (shoulder to hem) x 48” (cuff to cuff)
Silk warp/cotton weft handwoven alacha stripe
Body lined with Russian printed-cotton; sleeves lined with plain off-white cotton
Self facings
Silk loop-manipulation trim; a few worn spots on the trim
Good original condition; glazing still visible on alacha; some area of whitish discoloration on the back and on the front shoulder (see detail photo of front area with small hole).
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 42

Khorezm was historically a large Empire in western Central Asia bordering the Aral Sea that at one point belonged in part to the Khanate of Khiva. In 1924 it was incorporated into the Soviet Union and the Khanate was divided between the Turkmen SSR, Uzbek SSR and Karakalpakstan. This is a typical robe of the region that would have been worn by Uzbeks and Karakalpaks
Robes from this area are characterized by dense machine-quilting in narrow vertical rows which created a distinctive and very sturdy robe.
The lining of this robe (hidden from everyone but the woman who wore it) with its out-sized pink roses is in striking contrast with the relatively somber outer stripes.

SOLD

Price: $0.00
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 »

MAN’S BEKASAB ROBE (ATRSC-108)

Uzbekistan. 2nd quarter 20th century

48” (shoulder to hem) x 70” (cuff to cuff)
Silk warp/black cotton weft bekasab stripe
Applied narrow, woven trim
Russian printed-cotton lining; bekasab facing
Very good original condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 41

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.

The men in the bottom photograph are wearing bekasab robes.

Price: $175.00
View Details »