Moroccan Red Kaftan
The kaftan began as a garment for wealthy and powerful men, and started being worn by women in the 17th century. This kaftan is from Tetouan, Morocco and was made in the late 19th-early 20th century. The designs would often be drawn on by men, and then embroidered by women, and the metallic thread technique is called “squalli.” The craft originated in the Jewish quarter of Tetouan and was traditionally Jewish work. The detailed embroidery and color implies that this is a garment that would be worn by someone for special ceremony, and since it is wool it would be worn in colder weather. The round shapes on the bottom of the front embroidery act as protection from the evil eye, with a blue silk underneath.
This kaftan is made out of red wool, with metal-wrapped thread couched embroidery creating abstract swirling designs, metallic ribbon, and metallic and black silk thread outlining it. There is also a light blue brocade fabric inside the bottom ovals, and silk edging on the inside of the kaftan. There are some small moth holes on the ground of the garment but overall it is in very good condition.
Circa: 19th century
Origin: Tetouan, Morocco
Material: Wool, Silk, and Metallic Thread
Condition: Very Good
Dimensions: 52" long x 56" sleeve to sleeve
Inventory number: WR3968