Part of an ensemble with seven other pieces that are also part of the collection (ZI2018.500640a ASIA, ZI2018.500640b ASIA, ZI2018.500640c ASIA, ZI2018.500640d ASIA, ZI2018.500640e ASIA, and ZI2018.500640f ASIA).
This piece of garment was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli as a set of ensembles from Jade Bréval, an independent collector from France in 2018 to add to and enhance The Zay Initiative collection.
Ms Jade Bréval who had travelled for over 15 years in and around Türkiye had collected items such as this from shops and individuals in small villages and towns that she visited.
This is a cotton woven (Entari) jacket of Turkish women in a variety of coloured – orange, ivory, black, blue, and red – vertical stripes. It has a scalloped hem with metal thread (Sirma)/(Tel_Sirma), possibly of iron or brass, trimmings. It is a front-open garment with no fastenings.
The field of the garment is primarily embellished by colourful stripes that are unique to the weave of the fabric. There are no other added embellishment/s to the field apart from these stripes.
The hem and neckline have scalloped edges, with Sirma trimmings. The cuffs have scalloped Cutwork edges too with Sirma trimmings and embroidered floral motifs done with (Couching) style with metal thread. A similar style of embroidery in the same material but on a far smaller scale is also featured along the collar and on both the plackets.
The garment displays large slits at the sides and a straight open front which divides the skirt into three segments, thus making it an (üçetek_Entari).
A pocket at the end of each slit adds to its utilitarian feature. These pockets are also trimmed with Couching style embroidery in Sirma. The entire piece except for the cuffs, is lined with a plain thick ivory cotton that displays quite a few stains gathered over the years.
The cuffs are lined with plain red cotton fabric possibly as part of the embellishment that could be seen outside if folded. The piece is entirely hand-stitched and hand-embroidered and displays heavy fraying around the collars, neckline, shoulders, and underarms.
Prior to the widespread acceptance of European clothing in the Ottoman Empire, individuals – men and women – residing in urban areas, regardless of their faith or social standing, typically adorned themselves with three primary articles of clothing.
These included a calf-length cotton undershirt or (Gömlek), featuring long sleeves, which was worn over a pair of loose trousers known as (Shalvar). Additionally, they would wear a long-sleeved robe called an Entari, reaching the ankles or floor.
Additional layers were added as necessary, based on weather conditions, social occasions, and social status. These layers encompassed items such as waistcoats, short jackets like (Cepken) and (Yelek) or (Jilek), extra Entari, as well as coats of various sizes and lengths. Belts adorned with elaborate embroidery and ornate buckles, or just embroidered sashes as (Cummerbund) were utilized to accentuate the bust, waist, and hips, creating a defined silhouette.
At its peak, the Ottoman Empire spanned three continents and served as the crossroads between the East and the West – the Fertile Crescent, the Levant, Eastern Europe including the Balkans till the southern edge of the Great Hungarian Plain, Northern Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean.
After the conquest of the Arab world in c. 1516-1517 CE its control over the Middle East lasted for four centuries until the early 20th century with the onset of WW I and the Arab Revolt. These four hundred years witnessed many instances of mutual Arab and Ottoman cultural influences and exchanges. Through areas such as social life and art – decorative and performing –we come across several instances of Arab and Turkish culture blending together through the centuries. Just as European fashion was often inspired by the French court this socio-cultural blending between Ottoman Turkey and the Middle East was clearly reflected in its fashion and material culture.
Thus, while emulating Ottoman fashion as the mark of class in the Arab world was one side of the puzzle adapting Eastern European fashion particularly Balkan as part of mainstream couture culture because of the sizeable Balkan population within the Empire was another. Therefore, it is not surprising to find several articles of clothing and their terms similar between the two cultures.
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