Carpet Museum presents stunning traditional costumes [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
The National Carpet Museum continues to delight art lovers with stunning traditional costumes.
This time the Museum displayed eye-catching arkhalig (women's outerwear) from the museum's Shusha Branch collection.
An arkhalig was the most common type of women’s outerwear throughout Azerbaijan. It was made from termeh, taffeta, velvet, satin, moire, and brocade. Its name (arkha, kurek — back) suggests that arkhalig exposed the chest of women and at the same time completely covered their backs.
Women's arkhalig differed in the shape of the neckline, collar,
and hem. Karabakh clothing, which stands out for its cut and bright
colors of fabrics, occupies a special place among the costumes of
the ethnographic regions of Azerbaijan. The presented sample is
made of termeh and decorated with golden braid and garagoz
Earlier, the Carpet Museum showcased another elegant arkhalig and a skirt from the Carpet Museum's Shusha Branch collection.
The set is made of expensive brocade, decorated with golden patterns in the shape of a buta, on a cotton lining.
The main distinguishing feature of the Karabakh arkhaligs is a buta-shaped or oval neckline, a pleated basque, and sleeves, the shape of which was called nilufar, that is, a lotus: straight up to the elbows, and flared from the elbows.
The arkhalig has a tight-fittingshape with thin ribs vertically attached to its fiber.
Azerbaijani women wore ankle-length skirts. They were made of a fabric called takhta, which consisted of 10-12 pieces.
Traditional costumes are very vivid, comfortable, and beautifully crafted. The archeologists found out a bronze needle and an awl referred to the beginning of the Bronze Age during archeological excavations in the territory of Azerbaijan.
Silk clothes found in Mingachevir catacombs are referred to the 5th-6th centuries AD. All these findings prove that the ancient Azerbaijanis could sew for themselves.
In the 17th century, Azerbaijan was known as the country of the Middle East’s largest silk production country. The province of Shirvan was the largest sericulture region. Besides, Shamakhi, Basgal, Ganja, Sheki, Shusha regions were also famous for silk production.
The traditional dress is all about delicate embroidery and bright colors, where red is the dominating one.
In the past, the bride used to wear a red wedding gown. In Baku, the bride wears a white dress with a beautiful red silk sash tied around her waist. For Azerbaijanis, red is a symbol of well-being and happiness.
Young girls used to wear bright dresses decorated with various golden patterns. Therefore, a bright color scheme is a distinctive feature of the national costume of Azerbaijani women.
The fabrics used in the traditional costumes include silk, flax, wool or cotton. The finishing of clothes could make the simplest outfit expensive and rich in appearance. With the use of laces, gold and silver threads, craftsmen created a real work of art. Coins were used from precious metals as ornaments that could be collected by whole generations.
The typical women's traditional dress of Azerbaijan consists of under and outer garments and clothes for the upper and lower body. Bag-shaped cover "veil" and shutter for the face "rubend" were the important parts of the costume, which women wore while going out. Women also wore a short jacket called arkhalig with long sleeves, fitting back and chest, with a wide opening in the front.
Unmarried girls covered their heads with a cap like a skullcap, which was decorated with beads or silk. Married women tied several headscarves on their heads, such a dress was called "dinge". Women’s headwear kelagayi, a silk scarf protected them from both hot sun and cold wind.
Men's costumes always represented the class affiliation of its owner. National clothes of men in the 19th century included underclothing and overcoats. The over shirts for men were of two kinds: with mid-cut collar and with side-cut collar. Both of them had small yoke. Shirts for men were generally made of satin.
Archalig was cut at the waist and tight to the body.Gaba was male humeral outerwear, which was sewed of tirme. Chukha, humeral outerwear, was detachable on the waist, with layers and gathers. It was sewed of cloth, tirme and homespun textile.
The fur coat Kurk was made of lamb fur, without a fastener. Its collar was decorated with embroidery. Papaq or hat was considered a symbol of fortitude, honor and dignity of men in Azerbaijan.
It was the most popular headdress for men which were usually stitched with lamb fur.
Despite in modern times Azerbaijanis do not wear the traditional clothes in their daily lives, national costumes inspired many fashion designers.
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