Vintage Turkmen Chyrpy, Tekke False Sleeve Mantle, Turkman, Turkoman Robe
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Vintage Turkmen Chyrpy, Tekke False Sleeve Mantle, Turkman, Turkoman Robe


Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980’s. The focus is on vintage textiles and tribal jewelry as well as new gemstone beads made for jewelry designers. Clicking on the Shop on Etsy button will take you to our shop there where you can see what is currently in stock.

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Many Asian cultures have garments that have false sleeves, normally worn over the shoulders and symbolizing elite status, not needing to work or really wear sleeves. This garment is actually a mantle or head covering worn by Tekke Turkmen women. There is a wonderful discussion on TurkoTek that looks at various samples, including one that is very similar to this one. One quote is especially interesting:

“Women’s mantles which are pulled over the head and serve as veils. Cotton with silk embroidery. The mantles form part of the costume of married women. The mantles of young women have a black ground,of middle aged women a yellow ground and women over sixty a white ground. The rear side shows the dummy sleves which are typical of Turkestan women’s costume.”

According to this, then, our garment here would belong to a young woman.

Unfortunately, this piece somehow got wet and mildewy. I washed it in a machine to see how it would hold up and there is definitely damage. Because of this, we have seriously discounted the price. We thought about cutting it up and selling the embroidery as remnants as that is all intact, but it just seemed like an awful thing to do. Hopefully, someone out there can repair this or make use of it as is.

The embroidery, silk, is intact. The problem is in the background fabric (a silk/cotton blend) which has deteriorated in many places. It is hard to see in the photos, but if you look very closely, you will see the black fabric separating and lighter fabric showing through. This happens in many places, so know that upfront. One sleeve also needs a seam repaired and underneath the armpit. Both of those would be pretty easy to fix, but the other damage would be harder.

The lining is Soviet era rayon that is in very good shape and still vibrant.

Estimated age: 1970’s

Shoulders: 21″ (53 cm)
Sleeves: 25″ (64 cm)
Center back length 42″ (107 cm)

The Turkmen have traditionally been a nomadic people that are found all over Central Asia. The country of Turkmenistan is much more secular than the diaspora found in neighboring countries, although many groups mix Islam with animism. Known for their carpets, gorgeous jewelry, embroidery and other traditional craft skills, each sub-group has their own styles of embroidery and other defining characteristics.

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Afghanistan has been at the heart of the crossroads for the Silk Road for centuries. Nomads and generations of ethnic groups have thrived on trade and beautiful handicraft skills. Textiles, embroidery and carpet weaving continue to represent a plethora of skills that extend on into metal work, wood work, and ceramics. Designs reflect both the beauty of nature and life of spirit in choice of colors and fluidity of the design.

Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Handcarved semi-precious beads are the core focus of the business, but we also have a huge inventory of old and new textiles, carvings and metal work. Visit our shop here on Etsy to see our beautiful treasures!

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Read about Afghan Tribal Arts:

Afghan Tribal Arts

I have been importing from Central Asia since the 1980’s. Afghan Tribal Arts focuses on hand carved gemstones, beads, tribal jewelry, vintage textiles and nomadic carpets. We have a huge inventory of handmade crafts from around the world.

Our gallery is at 626 Broadway in Paducah, Kentucky, USA. We have a nice selection of beads and smaller items on Etsy: Visit us!

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The products you see here are examples of what we have sold in the past. Let us know what you are looking for and we will work with you.  We have lots of photos of our gallery on our Facebook page and you can look through them and contact us if you see something you want to know more about.

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