turkey textiles

the first international exhibition devoted to graphically stunning imperial turkish robes (kaftans) from the 16th and 17th century is on view at the smithsonian's arthur sackler gallery in washington, d.c. to january 22/06. "style and status: imperial costumes from ottoman turkey.

"at its height in the late 16th and early 17th century, the ottoman empire (1281–1924) extended from present-day iraq in the east to the balkans in the west to north africa in the south. ottoman society was rigidly hierarchical, and luxurious ceremonial robes—worn for civilian and religious ceremonies, as well as on the battlefield—played a central role in court life".

women played an extremely important role in this textile economy, and the outlet they found in embriodery and cloth spinning allowed for an undeniable amount of power and financial independance in a world dominated by men.

there is an excellent online exhibit where you can view the robes in more detail, and learn more about the ottoman empire.

these designs are stunning and the embroidery is amazing.

Jan Halvarson


Anabel said...

Wow! Very interesting.

Anonymous said...


Have a wonderful 2006!

andrea said...

oh, the patterns, the colors...! so amazing and beautiful.