Uzbek Traditional Clothing
National features of every country can be observed through its customs, traditions, cuisine as well as traditional clothing. For a long time originality of Uzbek clothes has been set according to climate, conditions of life, customs and traditions.
Traditional Uzbek male clothes consisted of warm quilted robe – chapan, tied up with a shawl or shawls, national hat – tyubiteika, and high boots made of thin leather. The male worn shirts with long sleeves of straight cut, underwear robe and out robe. There were summer – light robes and winter – warm quilted robes, both had cuts on the sides to make it more comfortable while sitting or walking.
Traditional Uzbek male clothes consisted of the loose-fitting cotton coat, called the chapan. The chapan is a long-sleeved, knee length or longer, and made from fabric with a variety of colorful stripes. The bottom of the sleeves, center edges, hem, and neckline of the coat were sewn round with a decorative braid, which was believed to protect a person from evil powers. Wearing two or more coats at the same time was common in both winter and summer, and gave a man a certain prestige while showing the prosperity of the family. The outer coat could be padded with batting. The coat or shirt was tied with a big folded handkerchief or a band which is called belbog’. This band was an important accessory, and could be made of fine fabrics, decorated with complicated silver embroidery, studded with stones and silver coins, and hung with little bags for tobacco and keys. Shirts usually were wide and white. They were made of cotton. Some of them had patterns named jiyak. Pants that are called ishton were loosely cut but narrowed to the bottom and were tucked into soft leather boots with pointed toes. Skullcaps were popular all over Central Asia. Theduppi is an Uzbek cap made of velvet or wool, beautifully embroidered with silk or silver threads. Over the cap men could drape a turban, or chalma, in different colors.
Traditional Uzbek female clothes consisted of traditional robe, functional dress made of satin, and lozim – wide, light trousers narrowing in lower part. The long, loose tunic had wide sleeves reaching to the wrists. Loose-cut pants were often made of the same fabric as the tunic, or out of complementary fabric. The bottom of the pants was gathered and decorated with embroidered braid. Women’s coats were similar to men’s chapan. For centuries cotton has been used extensively for clothing in Uzbekistan. Home-woven striped and white cotton were the most common fabrics for everyday wear. Fabrics were khanatlas, bekasama, alacha, atlas and kalami. Textile patterns often included up to six or seven different colors in the typical geometrical or stylized floral design. Fabrics were brightly colored, in shades of red, yellow, blue, green, violet, and orange. The color of the costume was an important signal of a person’s age or social status. Red and pink were common for girls and young women; middle-aged women were supposed to wear shades of light blue and gray. White was the most popular color and appropriate for all ages, especially for the elderly. Black, dark blue, and violet were colors of mourning.
Women’s long, black hair was braided into two or more plaits. Head was covered with rumol or tyubiteyka. Shoes were made of felt or colored leathers and had low heels.
Traditional Uzbek kids’ clothes were very similar to the forms of adult’s clothes.
Head is covered with tyubiteikas, felt cap, fur hats. The most popular and presently used one is tyubiteika. It is usually has a square and round shape. The textile used for tyubiteika manufacture is sateen and velvet. Men’s tyubiteikas have strict ornaments. Women’s and children ’s hats are of silk, velvet and brocade. Women’s tyubiteikas have a rich, multicolored ornament and can be embroidered with beads, spangles and coins. As a rule, women of a certain age do not wear tyubiteika. Women covered a head with kerchief. Frequently, the head dress consisted of two kerchiefs; one of them covered the head and the second one was fold up diagonally and served as frontlet. Uzbekistan consists of 12 regions and Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan and each region is differs with its identity and inimitable ornament. Thus, there are six basic groups of tyubiteikas; Tashkent, Fergana, Samarkand, Bukhara, Kashkadarya- Surkhandarya and Khorezm – Karakalpak. They vary in shape, ornament and scale of colors. The most popular is Chusts tyubiteika. Chust is a province in Fergana valleyand world famous for its applied arts. This tyubiteikas are manufactured from black sateen and have almond-shaped ornaments – symbols of life and fruitfulness. At all times, women were deal with embroidery of tybiteikas.
Men’s caftans (chapan) can be winter and summer. Winter chapans was sewed with slight cotton back. Neck, laps and arms’ hemlines were bound with wicker inkle. Men tied the chapan with belt. They wore cotton white shirt- kuilak under the chapan.
Female robe was slightly fitted and had loose arms. In the second half of XIX century, women’s clothes were completed by jacket and sleeveless jacket – nimcha. Women put on quite spacious dress made of cotton, silk or semi silk textile under the robe. Women wore bloomers (sharovars) narrowing in lower part. The bottom of bloomers was bound by inkle – djiyak.
Since middle of XIX century, purdah became traditional women’s dress. It consisted of robe which covered a head and chachvan. Chachvan is a square reticulate canvas which disguised face. All women was obligated to wear puradah when they outside. In 20th of XX century soviet administration prohibited puradah.