Textile Research Centre

Hogewoerd 164, Leiden


Textile Research Centre

11 September-21 December - Dressing Central Asia

Central Asia has long been famous for its production of textiles and garments. Located on the so-called Silk Road, it has seen and used textiles from China, Mongolia, India, Iran (Persia) as well as the Middle East and Europe. It has also developed a distinctive style of clothing that is well suited to the hot summers and freezing winters, as well as the plains and mountains of this vast region.


The definition of Central Asia is based on the so-called ‘Stans’, so Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. For centuries the peoples of these countries have travelled from one area to another and so created a melting pot of ethnic and cultural groups.


The exhibition is used to explore the various types of textiles associated with this vast region, notably the colourful ikats, velvets (plain and decorative), as well as embroideries and printed forms.


Among the items on display are a number of coats worn by male members of various Uzbek courts, including ikat and velvet forms, and a rare embroidered coat of a type that was presented as a gift to notables. This was a form of khilat (‘robe of honour’), an important and ancient subject that will be discussed in the exhibition.



More information on this exhibition will be available on the website of the Textile Research Centre as soon as possible.