Estimated age: 1930’s
Specifics on this Afghan tribal textile: Silk on silk. Tiny embroidered stitching defines the pattern: Four layered rectangles frame a central symmetrical geometric design. The background color is a red, with a majority of pumpkin orange top stitching, accented with small amounts of indigo and olive stitching. Metallic braiding accents the framed borders. The stitching is gorgeous, tiny and even! Edges are decorated with olive twisted threads that end in glass seed beads. Backing material is cotton.
The Katawaz embroidery is known as Zazi in Afghanistan and comes from the South Eastern part of the country. A bride would ride on a horse decorated which would be as decorated as she was. The saddle textile might have been made by the bride as a part of her dowry, by another woman in the family, or it could have been handed down from generation to generation.
17″ x 28″
Metric: 43 x 72 cm
Estimated age: 50 years+
Shipping is free on this textile, worldwide.
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.
Recommended reading: “Traditional Textiles of Central Asia” by Janet Harvey, a wonderful illustrated book on textiles from Afghanistan and the region. Also, Turkotek is a great forum that discusses Central Asian textiles, although they are somewhat difficult to navigate.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Hand carved 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.