Vintage Turkmen Chyrpy Robe, Tekke False Sleeve Mantle
Vintage Turkmen Chyrpy Robe
Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980’s. The focus is on vintage textiles and tribal jewelry as well as new gemstone beads made for jewelry designers. Clicking on the Shop on Etsy button will take you to our shop there where you can see what is currently in stock.
Vintage Turkmen Chyrpy Robe
Many Asian cultures have garments that have false sleeves, normally worn over the shoulders and symbolizing elite status, not needing to work or really wear sleeves. This garment is actually a mantle or head covering worn by Tekke Turkmen women. There is a wonderful discussion on TurkoTek that looks at various samples, including one that is very similar to this one. One quote is especially interesting:
“Women’s mantles which are pulled over the head and serve as veils. Cotton with silk embroidery. The mantles form part of the costume of married women. The mantles of young women have a black ground,of middle aged women a yellow ground and women over sixty a white ground. The rear side shows the dummy sleves which are typical of Turkestan women’s costume.”
According to this, then, our garment here would belong to a young woman. Unfortunately, this piece somehow got wet and mildewy. I washed it in a machine to see how it would hold up and there is definitely damage. Because of this, we have seriously discounted the price. We thought about cutting it up and selling the embroidery as remnants as that is all intact, but it just seemed like an awful thing to do. Hopefully, someone out there can repair this or make use of it as is. The embroidery, silk, is intact. The problem is in the background fabric (a silk/cotton blend) which has deteriorated in many places. It is hard to see in the photos, but if you look very closely, you will see the black fabric separating and lighter fabric showing through. This happens in many places, so know that upfront. One sleeve also needs a seam repaired and underneath the armpit. Both of those would be pretty easy to fix, but the other damage would be harder. The lining is Soviet era rayon that is in very good shape and still vibrant.
Estimated age: 1970’s
Dimensions: Shoulders: 21″ (53 cm) Sleeves: 25″ (64 cm) Center back length 42″ (107 cm)
The Turkmen have traditionally been a nomadic people that are found all over Central Asia. The country of Turkmenistan is much more secular than the diaspora found in neighboring countries, although many groups mix Islam with animism. Known for their carpets, gorgeous jewelry, embroidery and other traditional craft skills, each sub-group has their own styles of embroidery and other defining characteristics.
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Afghanistan has been at the heart of the crossroads for the Silk Road for centuries. Nomads and generations of ethnic groups have thrived on trade and beautiful handicraft skills. Textiles, embroidery and carpet weaving continue to represent a plethora of skills that extend on into metal work, wood work, and ceramics. Designs reflect both the beauty of nature and life of spirit in choice of colors and fluidity of the design. Recommended reading: “Traditional Textiles of Central Asia” by Janet Harvey, a wonderful illustrated book on textiles from Afghanistan and the region.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Handcarved semi-precious beads are the core focus of the business, but we also have a huge inventory of old and new textiles, carvings and metal work. Abdul Wardak, owner, travels a bead show route between Wisconsin and Florida. Wholesale inquiries are welcome.
Visit our shop on Etsy and check our shop here on Artizan Made as we will have different items on both shops. We combine shipping on purchases between both shops. Free shipping on all purchases over $100 in the US.
We are proud members of TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.
Afghan Tribal Arts
Abdul Wardak of Afghan Tribal Arts Abdul Wardak has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the early 1980’s. Beads carved from semi-precious stones are the core of the business, but Afghan Tribal Arts also has an extensive collection of tribal jewelry, textiles, carpets, and vintage functional crafts.
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