black traditional kaftan


Where did Kaftans come from?

Have you ever wondered how kaftans came to Australia?

A kaftan or caftan is a variant of a robe and was often worn as a coat, usually reaching to the ankles, with long sleeves.  Of course, variations of this have developed over the years.  The Aussie version of a kaftan in the 21st century is a light weight, colourful and easy to travel with version of the ancient robe.

Kaftans are believed to have begun in ancient Mesopotamia, a place that includes parts of Syria, Turkey and Iraq. As soon as the first piece of textile was made, someone decided to put a hole in it, pull it over their heads, and tie it together with a length of rope around the waist.  That’s how the Kaftan craze began, although they were mainly worn by men originally, it didn’t take long for women to catch onto the new trend!

Types of Kaftans

  • Ottoman Kaftan: The Ottoman kaftan reached its peak in popularity in the early Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1923).
  • Ottoman kaftan
  • African Kaftan: Kaftans have been worn in many areas of Africa. West African men wear something that’s called a boubou, which is a pullover top with long bell sleeves, worn with drawstring pants.
  • african kaftanboubou
  • Western Kaftan: The Western concept of the kaftan has come to describe a garment that is basically a large, rectangular piece of fabric, folded with a neck hole in the center, and stitched up the sides, leaving room for arms.
  • western kaftan

If you are interested in purchasing any Kaftans, take a look at what Citrus Sky has to offer.