A kaftan (sometimes spelled caftan from Persian خفتان) is a man's cotton or silk cloak buttoned down the front, with full sleeves, reaching to the ankles and worn with a sash.

The kaftans worn by the Ottoman sultans constitute one of the most splendid collections of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. Some of them were so precious that they were given as rewards to important dignitaries and victorious generals during elaborate religious festivals (see the "khalat" article).

Kaftans [ [http://www.ismailacar.com.tr/Kaftan.htm IsmailAcar.com - Kaftans] ] were often embroidered on the front and on the sleeves, but like everything else under the Ottomans, there was a strict hierarchical order in the colours, patterns, ribbons and buttons, which were chosen according to the rank of the person to whom they were presented.

While in the 14th century large patterns and subdued colours were used, these became both smaller and brighter in the next century. By the second half of the 17th century, the most precious fabrics were those with 'yollu': vertical stripes with various embroideries and small patterns, the so-called "Selimiye" fabrics.

Most fabrics were manufactured in Istanbul and Bursa, but some came from as far as Venice, Genoa, Persia, India and even China. Each had very specific characteristics and was named accordingly: there was velvet, aba, bürümcük, canfes, gatma, gezi, diba (Persian ديبا), hatayi, kutnu, kemha, seraser (Persian سراسر), serenk, zerbaft (Persian زربفت), tafta (Persian تافته), and many others; the most often used colours were 'China blue', 'Turkish red', violet, "pişmis ayva" or cooked quince, and saffron yellow.

The Topkapı Museum, Istanbul, possesses a large collection of Turkish kaftans and textiles. [ [http://www.exploreturkey.com/exptur.phtml?id=287 Topkapi Museum: collection of Turkish textiles and kaftans. ] ]

Russian kaftan

In Russia the word "kaftan" is used for another type of clothing: a kind of a man's long suit with tight sleeves. By 19th century Russian kaftans were the most widely spread type of outer clothing among peasants and merchants. Currently they are used as a ritual religious clothing by the most conservative sect of Old Believers.

Moroccan kaftan

In Morocco kaftans are only worn by women, and are substantially different from their Turkish counterpart. The kaftan is the original moroccan dress. It can be dressy casual to extremely formal (similar to a western dress) depending on the materials used. They can be worn during at dinner parties, baby showers, engagement parties and weddings.

Batik kaftan

In South East Asia, batik kaftans are produced for cool floaty feeling in hot sweltering heat of the tropical weather. While batik is very acid fast, numerous kind of fabrics are used ranging from silk to viscose. Florals and abstract designs heavily influence the kaftans from this region.

Dashiki kaftan

In West Africa, a dashiki kaftan is a pullover, woman's dress. In French, this dress is called a boubou, "pronounced boo-boo", see the Boubou article for further information. The men's garment is called a dashiki. The dashiki is worn by all tribes. Another male garment is the grand Boubou. However, use of the Grand Boubou is limited to the Islamized groups with whom its origins lie.


Couture Kaftans [http://www.kanishka.co.uk]

See also

* Ottoman clothing
* Boubou (clothing)
* Senegalese kaftan
* Kaftan (boubou)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kaftan — Sm (ein langes, weites Obergewand, für bestimmte modische Kleidungsstücke übernommen) erw. exot. ass. (16. Jh.)Entlehnung Entlehnt aus türk. kaftan, dieses aus arab. qufṭān, dieses aus pers. ḫaftān unter dem Panzer zu tragendes Gewand .    Ebenso …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Kaftan — Kaftan: Der Name des langen Obergewandes, wie es früher zur typischen Tracht der Ostjuden gehörte, geht auf arab. qufṭān, pers. haftān »‹militärisches› Obergewand« zurück, das in neuerer Zeit durch Vermittlung von türk. kaftan, slaw. kaftan… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Kaftan — Kaftan, das Oberkleid der Türken weiblichen und männlichen Geschlechts, weit und bequem, unsern Schlafröcken ähnlich, aus Baumwollen oder Seidenzeug, mit Blumen gestickt und kostbarem Pelzwerk ausgeschlagen oder gefüttert. In früherer Zeit… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • kaftan — [ kaftan] (also caftan) noun a man s long belted tunic, worn in the Near East. ↘a woman s long, loose dress. ↘a loose shirt or top. Origin C16: from Turk., from Pers. ḵaftān, partly influenced by Fr. cafetan …   English new terms dictionary

  • Kaftan — Kaf tan, n. & v. See {Caftan}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kaftan — Kaftan, Kleidung der Morgenländer, einem kurzen Schlafrocke ähnlich, von baumwollenem od. seidnem Zeuche, meist weiß, mit blaßgelben Blumen, zuweilen mit Rauchwerk gefüttert. Solche K s werden Personen, die man bes. ehren will, als Geschenke… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Kaftan — (türk., »Oberrock«), ehedem ein vom Sultan als Auszeichnung verliehenes Staatskleid, ähnlich dem von den Herrschern in Persien und Mittelasien noch heute vergebenen Chal at (s. d.). Nur bei den untern und mittlern Volksklassen der Türkei ist der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kaftan — (türk.), schlafrockähnliches orient. Kleidungsstück …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kaftan [2] — Kaftan, Julius, prot. Theolog, geb. 30. Sept. 1848 zu Loit bei Apenrade, 1873 Prof. in Basel, 1883 in Berlin; schrieb: »Das Wesen der christl. Religion« (2. Aufl. 1888), »Glaube und Dogma« (3. Aufl. 1889), »Dogmatik« (4. Aufl. 1901) u.a …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kaftan — Kaftan, das bekannte einem Schlafe rock ähnliche Nationalkleid der Türken …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • kàftan — m široki kaput bez postave, seže do gležnjeva, dugih i širokih rukava; vuče podrijetlo još iz Mezopotamije, popularan i u visokoj modi druge pol. 20. st. ✧ {{001f}}tur. ← perz …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

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