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Dress Reforms of the Early Twentieth Century in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan

Derek Bryce

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

During the 1920s and 1930s, three states—Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan—embarked on a series of wide-ranging programmatic reforms designed to transform their respective societies fundamentally. Often called “modernization from above” because of their association with authoritarian elites, these reforms attempted to impose changes in state, economic, and sociocultural spheres that favored broadly Western models and to replace or restrict the practice of corresponding traditional, indigenous, or Isl

Silk Clothing as an Economic Factor, Safavid Persia

Margaret A. Deppe

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Surviving articles of dress in Persia from the Safavid Empire (1502–1736) illustrate the extensive network of production and distribution of raw silk and silk goods throughout Asia and Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The economic role of silk textiles for garments and accessories was substantial. Already an important industry before Safavid times, production of silk increased under Shah Abbas I. Magnificent garments, carpets, and other textiles were produced for palace use and

Iranian Headwear in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Mary H. Farahnakian

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

From a Western perspective, exotic Iranian headwear of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been largely unknown to people around the world because of the lack of scholarly research on the topic. Additionally, few comparisons of Iranian headwear with that of other countries, particularly those in the Middle East, have been published. Where did the distinctive Iranian headwear originate? What influenced its development? Who developed its unique and divergent styles? This article addresses

Early Iranian Textiles and Their Influence on Pre-Islamic Dress

Irene Good

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Some of the earliest evidence for the use of sheep’s wool can be found in Iran. Much influence and importation of style on dress in Iran can be attributed to both Eastern and Western sources during the later pre-Islamic period, from China to the Levant and even Rome, although textile technology and production has also experienced internal developments and been influenced by local trends. Historically, some cloth was woven in bolts to be cut for garments; other types of cloth were woven garments t

Kurdish Dress

Layla Yousif Pio

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Kurdistan is located in central Southwest Asia and covers an area of approximately 151,350 square miles (392,000 square kilometers) incorporated into parts of eastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and the former Soviet Union. There are also two large Kurdish enclaves in central and north-central Anatolia in Turkey and in the province of Khorassan in northeast Iran. The Kurds remain the largest ethnic population in the world without an autonomous independent state of th

The Kashmir Shawl and Its Use in the Indo-Islamic World and Europe

Janet Rizvi

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

For the entire period of its known history, the classic Kashmir shawl, woven in twill tapestry from the finest trans-Himalayan goat pashm (cashmere), was manufactured as an export item, destined for the highest end of the market in plains India, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Ottoman Empire, and later in Europe and the United States. The industry was highly structured, and its output was tailored to the demand of particular markets. Merchants from foreign countries traveled to Srinagar, Kashmir’s cap

Introduction to the History of Dress on the Iranian Plateau

Willem Vogelsang

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Iranian Plateau stretches from the banks of the Tigris River in the west to the valley of the Indus River in the east, and from the arid expanse of West Turkistan in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south. It is a harsh land, with limited water supplies, hot summers, and sometimes bitterly cold winters. Its geographic location, however, has made it into a natural transition zone between the plains of Southwest Asia, including ancient Mesopotamia, and the humid valleys and arid deserts of

History of West Turkistan and Its Influence on the Dress of South Central Asia

Willem Vogelsang

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

West Turkistan is the name traditionally given to the lands that stretch east of the Caspian Sea and north of modern Iran and Afghanistan. To the east, it is bordered by the rising peaks of the Altai and Karakoram mountains, which mark the modern frontier with China. To the north lies the wide expanse of Kazakhstan. West Turkistan is a harsh and arid region that until the early twentieth century was largely inhabited by nomads. Villages and urban centers developed at specific places where water w

Trouser Wearing by Horse-Riding Nomads in Central Asia

Willem Vogelsang

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Trousers may be thought to be a typical feature of modern Western dress, but people in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and large parts of Central Asia wear trousers and have done so for centuries. In Central Asia and Southwest Asia practical considerations, such as horse riding, and later religious prescriptions have meant that trousers there, often called shalwar, look very different from their narrower, Western-style counterparts. They are normally baggy with a low crotch and reach to the ankles. Sh

Iranian Regional Dress

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Iran is a large and ancient country that lies at the crossroads between Asia, Southwest Asia, and Europe. Over the centuries, numerous different peoples have crossed the country and settled there. As a result there are currently about one hundred different ethnic and religious groups and subgroups, both Muslim and non-Muslims, living in Iran. The country’s diversity is reflected in its regional dress, especially that worn by women. However, local dress is rapidly vanishing in some areas due to Ir

Iranian Urban Dress

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The nineteenth century in Iran was a period of dramatic changes with respect to urban dress; the style of garments worn at the beginning of the century was totally different from that at the end and in the following era. A major factor in this change were the policies of Westernization followed by Iranian rulers from the early nineteenth century on. Under Mohammed Shah (r. 1834–1848), for instance, the British military specialist Sir Henry Rawlinson was employed to modernize the Iranian army on E

Reza Shah’s Dress Reforms in Iran

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Some of the most enduring and controversial legacies of the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941, were the changes he made in the dress of both men and women living in Iran. The repercussions of these changes can still be felt in the early twenty-first century.

Turkmen Dress and Embroidery

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The majority of the Turkmen live around the Kara Kum (“Black Sand”) desert. The various Turkmen tribes consider themselves to be a single ethnic group. In the early twenty-first century, the Turkmen region is divided among Afghanistan, Iran, and the former Soviet Union. Turkmen of these countries have only been separated by international boundaries for some one hundred years. Prior to this, there was constant trade and social contact between the various groups. Turkmen also engaged in textile tra

Face Veils

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

A face veil is a separate garment that is used to cover all or part of the face, usually that of a woman. Ethnic and cultural origins often play a prominent role in whether a woman wears a face veil, and what type. Some groups have insisted on women being veiled because their presence is a sexual distraction to men. Veiling is also used to indicate the physical status of a female, that is, to show if she is in the fertile phase of her life. In patriarchal societies, veiling is sometimes linked to

Islamic Religion and Women’s Dress Code: The Islamic Republic of Iran

Faegheh Shirazi

Source: Undressing Religion. Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-Cultural Perspective 2000

Book chapter

The issue of hijab has become a fascinating topic not only in academia, but also in popular culture. The veil as an article of clothing or a garment carries multiple meanings and interpretations. The hijab no longer means a piece of cloth draped on a woman’s head. Now, the hijab is pregnant with meanings acquired during the most recent history of contemporary Islamic societies (Shirazi, in press).El Guindi’s most recent book on the veil goes into a much deeper and detailed discussion of the word

The Curious Tale of the Ultra-long Sleeve (A Eurasian Epic)

E. J. W. Barber

Source: Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia. Beliefs about Protection and Fertility 1999

Book chapter

Distributional evidence (see map, Figure 7.2) from recent Slavic traditional (as opposed to factory-produced) dress is not so clear as I would like because of the paucity of village-to-village information (Soviet policies wiped out regional dress a long time ago) and because of the difficulties of obtaining East European publications. The best single costume book for Russia that I have located is Sosnina (1984). The Russians also published a postcard collection of drawings by Vinogradova (1969) t

Contexts of Resistance

Fadwa El Guindi

Source: Veil. Modesty, Privacy and Resistance 1999

Book chapter

A “historic dynamism of the veil” (Fanon’s phrase) was dramatically played out in Algeria’s struggle for independence. Fanon wrote: “The veil helped the Algerian woman to meet the new problems created by the struggle” (1967: 63). The role of the veil in liberating Algeria from French colonial occupation is popularly known, idealized, romanticized, ideologized, and fictionalized, but nonetheless real. When the French landed in Algeria in 1830 most inhabitants were Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims (fo

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