Moroccan Kaftan: A Global Icon of Elegance

Moroccan Kaftan is part of the cultural heritage of Morocco. It has always had a special place in the Moroccan wardrobe. Today, it finds its letters of nobility in haute couture.

Discovering a country means exploring its monuments, the beauty of its heritage, and its landscapes. However, it also involves delving into the traditions of the country, particularly in places like Morocco, where its culture is represented by Moroccan craftsmanship and its unique style of dressing.

The Moroccan caftan, what is it?

what is it Moroccan caftan

Women in Morocco wear it both at home and on special occasions. It is acceptable for them to wear their Moroccan caftan to weddings or births. Stylists who showcased it in runway shows helped it acquire traction globally. This Moroccan caftan blend of elegance and modernism doesn’t ignore the traditional, adding a personal and more evolved touch. A Moroccan caftan’s gorgeous embroidery and embellishments are often enough to identify it as one. In addition, it’s accessible and straightforward.

The history of the Moroccan caftan

history of Moroccan caftan

Initially, the Moroccan Kaftan was designed for males to wear. When it was first made, it was just a tunic. Its origins in Mesopotamia are shrouded in mystery. The Moroccan Kaftan gained popularity and eventually made its way to Morocco as Islam spread over the Persian realm. Over time, Moroccan nobility began to use it as their own. As a result, it quickly gained traction and was embraced by everyone.

It is now paired with a belt, but only with the appropriate jewelry. There are no sleeves or hoods on a kaftan because they are traditionally meant to be worn bare-shouldered. They have a central opening and may or may not have buttons. International trade and using new materials from other countries changed the traditional caftan worn in Morocco. The Moroccan caftan is what happens when many different cultures come together.

The modern caftan

modern caftan

It is how the caftan crosses eras and generations with different cuts, colors, and fabrics. It remains firmly rooted in Moroccan culture. It was only very late, in the 19th century, that this unisex garment became exclusively feminine.

Eager for modernity, the Moroccan woman will push designers to revisit the caftan. Stylists will play a significant role in modernization. While ancient civilizations abandoned their caftans, the caftan will be a marriage between tradition and modernity in Morocco.

Nowadays, and in the context of globalization, the Moroccan caftan crosses the borders of the Kingdom. It shines internationally, being today worn not only by women from the Maghreb and the Middle East but also in Europe.

Styles of Moroccan Kaftans

Styles of Moroccan Kaftans

Kaftans and takchitas are the two main styles. A kaftan is usually just one thing: a long, loose-fitting dress with long sleeves.

A wide belt is added to the Kaftan to fit the wearer’s body nicely and show her shape.

kaftans and takchita

The bottom part of a takchita is a simple short-sleeved dress. The top is long-sleeved, elaborately decorated and belted like a kaftan.

The top layer of the dress stays partly open to show the different colors or designs of the layer underneath.

Kaftans and takchitas can be silk, cotton, or modern synthetic fabrics. They can be one solid color, a mix of solid colors, or even bold patterns like flowers or paisley.

For fancy designs, silver or gold thread is often used for embroidery, while the plain-colored line is used for simpler designs.

It could be a border around the edge of the fabric, a pattern of circles or lines, or something more complicated. For sparkle, sequins, rhinestones, pearls, and even real gems can be added.

Lastly, the Kaftan is worn with a just as beautiful belt. These belts are usually gold or silver and can be made of braided cords or flexible metal bands. The strap is essential because it ensures the Kaftan fits right and shows off the colors and details.

styles of Kaftan

Different cities in Morocco, like FezRabat, and Meknes, have their own styles of Moroccan Kaftan. The type of embroidery used to decorate is the main thing that sets it apart.

The embroidery on rbati kaftans is a unique style called tarz rbati. It is made up of flowers, leaves, and swirls stitched with many different thread colors.

Meknassi and Fasi embroidery is called tarz meknassi, and tarz fasi is more geometric. Squares, triangles, and straight lines are used to make intricate patterns along the edges of the fabric.

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