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A kaftan or caftan ( قفطان qaftân) is a front-buttoned coat or overdress, usually reaching to the ankles, with long sleeves.

American hippie (WP) fashions of the late 1960s and the 1970s were often cultural appropriation (WP) of ethnic styles, including kaftans. African-styled, kaftan-like dashikis were popular, especially among African-Americans.

Street styles were appropriated by fashion designers, who marketed lavish, Moroccan-style kaftans as hostess gowns for casual at-home entertaining. Vogue and Harper's Bazaar showed photos of jet-set hostesses in fancy kaftans.

Fashion designer Tom Ford designed velvet Kaftans for the fashion house Gucci in the 1990s, which was referred to as "hippie chic" by those in fashion circles.

Kaftans can be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton, and may be worn with a sash. The caftan is of ancient Mesopotamian origin.[1]

It is a variant of the robe or tunic, versions of which have been worn by countless cultures around the world, for thousands of years. The kaftan is associated with Islamic or Islamicate cultures. Kaftans were often worn as court robes; the splendor and specific decorations of the kaftan indicated the rank of the wearer. Sovereigns often gave ornate kaftans as a mark of favor.

Persian kaftansEdit

Persian robes of honor were commonly known as khalat or kelat.[2]

Ottoman kaftansEdit

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The kaftans worn by the Ottoman sultans are preserved in one of the most splendid collections of Wikipedia:Topkapı Palace in Istanbul.[3] Lavishly decorated kaftans were given as rewards to important dignitaries and victorious generals. The decorations—colours, patterns, ribbons, and buttons—indicated the rank of the person to whom they were presented.

From the 14th century through 17th centuries, textiles with large patterns were used. The decorative patterns on the fabrics became both smaller and brighter in the late 16th and in the 17th centuries. 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 manufactured in Turkey were made in Wikipedia:Istanbul and Bursa, but some textiles came from as far away as Wikipedia:Venice, Wikipedia:Genoa, Persia (Iran), Wikipedia:India and even Wikipedia:China. Kaftans were made from velvet, aba, bürümcük (a type of crepe with a silk warp and cotton weft), canfes, çatma (a heavy silk brocade), gezi, diba (Persian Template:Lang), hatayi, kutnu, kemha, seraser (Persian Template:Lang) (brocade fabric with silk warp and gold or silver metallic thread weft),[4] serenk, zerbaft (Persian Template:Lang), tafta (Persian Template:Lang). Favoured colours were Wikipedia:indigo blue, kermes red, violet, pişmis ayva or "cooked quince", and weld yellow.

The Wikipedia:Topkapı Museum, Wikipedia:Istanbul, possesses a large collection of Ottoman kaftans and textiles.[5]

West African kaftansEdit

In Wikipedia:West Africa, a kaftan is a pullover robe. Kaftans are worn by both men and women. In West Africa, the female robe is called a kaftan, and the male robe is called the boubou or Wikipedia:Senegalese kaftan.

Russian kaftansEdit

In Russia the word "kaftan" is used for another type of clothing: a kind of a man's long suit with tight sleeves. By the 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 Wikipedia:Old Believers.

Jewish kaftanEdit

Chassidic Jews adopted a silky robe (Bekishe) or a frock coat (kapoteh) from the garb of Slavic nobility. The term kapoteh may originate from the Spanish capote or possibly from "kaftan", via Wikipedia:Ladino. Wikipedia:Sephardic Jews in Ottoman or Muslim lands wore a kaftan like their neighbors. The term "Kapote" is also used in Morocco.

Southeast Asian kaftansEdit

In South East Asia, kaftans are often worn as cool,[6] casual hot weather attire. Wikipedia:Batik fabric is often used.


See alsoEdit