About this object

History of use

This robe may have been made in Afghanistan and exported for the retail trade in North America. Its style and construction are not typical of ikat robes worn by the indigenous people of Central Asia. For example, the patterns on this robe are carefully matched and lined up at both the front and the back, whereas the patterns on a typical Central Asian robe would be mismatched in order to confuse any evil spirits that might otherwise invade the wearer. This robe is more typical of a garment made for a Westerner. A more typical robe from this region would have been made with a V neckline instead of a round neckline, it would not have had closures at the center front and would have been floor length. In addition, it would have had a facing at the neckline and center front opening that was cut on the bias from an ikat or other silk textile, and the entire robe would probably have been lined with a Russian-made, multi-coloured printed cotton lining; the neckline edge, the front edge and the hem would have been bound with colourful woven or braided binding.


Formerly part of the stock of Terlingua, a retail shop in Calgary.

Physical description

Woman’s robe made from warp face silk ikat textile (purple and pink predominating). The robe has a round neckline and three button and loop closures at the centre front (two white glass buttons, one black plastic button). The silk taffeta outer layer is lined to the edges with pink and white cotton gauze gingham textile, and the layers are machine quilted together with a cotton batting between the layers; there are no facings. The long sleeves taper to the wrists.