The Caftan is a garment worn throughout the years in many regions. from Persia to the middle east, to the Maghreb, many cultures participated in the development and spread of this elegant peace, becoming one of the most recognised and appreciated in the world. So, and before taking the caftan in its Moroccan and resolutely feminine meaning, let’s take a look into the origins and codes of the caftan, for if there is a very lively tradition of the caftan today and its fief is Morocco, the Moroccan Caftan has a wider history that has transcended borders and ages.
Some trace the origins of the dress to the emperors of china, in fact the essence of the caftan can be recognised in some of the most ancient central Asian male outfits, particularly appreciated by the rider people of central Asia who wore it as an open long-sleeved coat, but was adopted by many other cultures throughout history. Arabs, Persians, and the ottomans were all participating and adding their touch, colors and expressions to the dress, the word caftan originated from Persians who pronounced it ‘’Khaftane’’,the expansion of Arab Muslim world played an important role in the propagation of the dress, since it has always been crossed by commercial caravans coming from Asia, Africa and Europe and participating in the exchange of many products, such as tissue commerce. The ottomans on the other hand were the ones to exploit and develop the fancy and elegant aspects of the dress, worn only by sultans and their relatives at that moment of time, The caftan, was a symbol of magnificence and distinction, required months to be made by the Ottoman craftsmen who embroidered it, beaded it and lined it with trimmings with gold and silver thread.
The caftan saw the light of day in the 16th century, after making its way from Andalusia due to the expulsion of Muslims and Jews from the region, a great proportion of Andalusia’s residents fled to morocco bringing with them their garments and traditions. Morocco who was known for its abundance in textile materials and fabrics, was set to exploit and develop the caftan to the fullest, exploring infinite colors and techniques , Moroccan kaftans are often representative of the diverse cultural identities and cultural heritage influences, since every big city in Morocco had its own traditions and craftsmen localized in the medinas of each city, particularly in Fez coming out with (Lebsa Fassia), Rabat with the (Touqida), and sale with (Tarz lem’allam). Worn one by the rich and noble men and women of Morocco only, then developed into a feminine garment that can be worn on a daily basis as during ceremonies (weddings, baptism, etc.), the Moroccan caftan is surely a unique and rich garment, highly linked to its culture, there is even a tradition that Moroccan brides change caftan seven times during their wedding night.
The caftan has adapted to the taste of time without losing its soul and it knows, in its contemporary version, a renewed enthusiasm in Morocco as well as beyond its borders. Great couturiers such as Yves Saint-Laurent, who collected the caftans, and Roberto Cavalli, have taken passion for this garment woven with tradition and dream and have inspired themselves for their collections. The caftan worn by her royal highness lalla Salma in the king Willem-Alexandre’s investiture in 2013 won the vote as the favorite outfit for hello’s magazine, showing that the Moroccan caftan in still gaining in popularity and impressing.
For visitors looking to purchase a traditional Moroccan Caftan, make sure to check out our store for an elegant simplistic silk caftan.