About Arabic Drees Design
At its simplest, the caftan dress is simply a type of long-sleeved, ankle-length robe or tunic that closes or buttons in the front. This simplicity, however, disguises the long and varied history of kaftan and its dozens of styles and variations across many different cultures. In the last several decades, kaftan has become increasingly popular in Western countries, primarily as a woman's fashion. The caftan dress appeals to all tastes because it is simple, adaptable and can add a touch of the traditional or the exotic into a wardrobe.
The classic caftan typically has open, billowing sleeves and a high collar, though modern variations may have in-neck collars or other cuts. Some traditional versions have tighter, narrower sleeves, although this varies from region to region. Buttons or ties are found on the front of the garment from the neck to the waist, except on pull-over designs. A sash or a tunic is worn along the waist to give some shape to the otherwise free-flowing tunic. The traditional design reaches down to the ankles, though modern versions may be shorter, and kaftan-inspired tunics are sometimes worn as shirts or blouses. A sweater, cloak or loose outer jacket completes the traditional caftan.
Perhaps the greatest virtue of the garment is its adaptability to different weather conditions. Loose caftans made of lighter materials are perfect for hot climates, while heavier versions are suitable for cooler conditions. The caftan is loose enough to be worn over underwear and flexible enough to be worn under heavy outerwear. It can be held close to the body at the waist or loosened for coolness; the buttons or ties can be kept buttoned to different heights based on temperature.
The caftan's traditional homeland stretches from North Africa to Central Asia, though it is generally believed to have originated in the Mesopotamian region, in or around present-day Iraq. Kaftan, therefore, is also considered a form of women's Islamic Clothing. In its original cultural context, the caftan is either a unisex outfit or primarily a man's item. The word "kaftan" itself is derived from the Persian language. Depending on the cultural context, the caftans may have been plain, homepun garments or ornate robes with impressive patterns and decorations. In certain caftan-wearing cultures, decorative elements and accessories were used to indicate the wearer's rank or status. Materials range from plain cotton to silk and beyond; in Morrocco, for example, women's caftans often appear with intricate lace decorations.
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