The clothes

Travel items. © Tourism Almaty

The clothes

One can say that now is a real boom of the eastern clothes. Modern Kazakh designers enter the world podiums using the finishing elements, type of cut, fabrics and techniques traditionally used in the steppe. The nomadic way of life had a great impact on the traditional Kazakh costume so the clothes have to be comfortable for horse riding, warm in winter and not hot in summer. Traditional materials for clothes production were fells, leather, domestic animals hairs, thin felt and cloth made by Kazakhs themselves. Wealthy people sewed clothes from imported materials – silk, brocade and velvet. A lot of clothes were made of felt. Women’s not-oar shirts named “koylek” were much longer than men’s. Young women and girls preferred red or motley fabrics. Over the dress women wore sleeveless jackets and an open collar. To decorate jacket young women trimmed open collar with a wide strip of contrast color fabric, the edges of shelves and a ham decorated with embroidery, braids and silver; metal silvered buckles and clasps or silver buttons were also used. The bride’s wedding dress was especially beautiful – an obligatory part of the girl’s dowry before the beginning of the 20th century. It was made from expensive fabric (cloth, velvet, atlas), usually red, with a very long false sleeves, sewn below up, decorated with embroidery and other adornments. Women headgears met the age and social status. “Takiya”, a little fabric hat, and “borik”, a hat with a fur cap band, were appropriate for unmarried women. On the top of the hat an “uki”, an amulet from eagle owl feathers, were placed. It was used more as a talisman than a decoration. The bride puts on “saukele” – tall headgear in the form of a truncated cone, decorated richly and delicately. Men wore singlets of two types, under and upper pants, light upper clothing and wider heavy clothing from different materials of a dressing — goat type. Leather belts and fabric waistbands were the obligatory part of the costume. The vest was put on over the shirt. The most important garment for Kazakh was the shapan – loose long dressing-goat. From the inside it was warm with wool and wadding. Wealthy citizens of the steppe wore on holiday gold-embroidered shapan from velvet. Ton – uncovered sheepskin coat was usual for Kazakhs in winter time. It was sewn from basils, fur on the inside, and wealthy Kazakhs made it from the skins of four or five- month-old lambs. 5-6 skins of an adult sheep were used for one ton. Kazakh used to shave their heads and wore headgears. Takiya – round fabric hat, obligatory for wearing. Skullcaps were also widespread. One wear kalpak – summer hat made of thin white felt with narrow high crown, rounded or pointed top. It was sawn from two equal pieces, bottom parts unbent, forming wide fields. Borik – usual headgear could be put on at any time of the year. It was sewn on a felt basis, covered with fabrics on the outside. The bottom part was trimmed with fur. Tymak – the most unique headgear consisting of the crown and four big blades, cut from felt and covered with fabric. The blades of a hat were trimmed with fur.