The folk dress of Kazakhstan is really beautiful and charming. Its cut, design, materials, and accessories are perfectly suitable for the originally nomadic lifestyle of locals and the harsh climate conditions of the country. Nonetheless, the garments are sophisticated and elegant in their own way. Every little detail of the outfit accentuates the facial features and body shapes of Kazakh people.
Among the main materials traditionally used by Kazakh people to make clothing are animal skin, fur, felt, horsehair, sheep’s wool, etc. The festive garments were produced using expensive imported silk, velvet, cotton, and brocade. But they were often adorned with furs or wool.
One of the main characteristics that discriminate Kazakh national costume from any other outfits in the world is the ornamentation of the garments. Kazakh traditional embroidery and applique are unique and very pretty.
We’d like to show you some of Kazakh folk garments.
Male and female outer garments have a lot in common. They are usually long, with long sleeves, and embellished with folk embroidery or applique. The winter clothing is always adorned with fur (fox, rabbit, raccoon, beaver, sheep or camel wool, goatskin, etc.). Of course, there is also short and less warm outerwear but it is used during the warm season.
Shapan – male spring-summer coat
Shapan – male autumn-winter coat
Shekpen – men’s long-sleeved overcoat
Komzol – female spring-summer vest
The folk dresses used by Kazakh females are feminine, accentuate the figure of a woman. There are separate garments for the warm and cold season, just as with the outerwear. Summer garments are made from lighter fabrics but they’re not at all breezy and don’t expose a lot of skin.
Kunikey koilek – spring-summer dress of an unmarried girl
Kunikey koilek – autumn-spring dress of an unmarried girl
Koilek – bride’s spring-summer wedding dress
Koilek – bride’s autumn-winter wedding dress
There is a number of various headdresses used in Kazakhstan. Usually, they’re rather warm and dense, even the hats worn during the warm season – that’s because of constant strong winds that are typical for the country. Winter headgear is much warmer and adorned with fur or wool. Most of the headdresses, especially festive ones, are decorated with plenty of embroideries.
Kalpak – men’s spring-summer hat
Ayir kalpak – men’s autumn-spring hat
Takiya – male spring-summer skull-cap
Takiya – male autumn-winter hat
Takiya – women’s spring-summer headdress
Takiya – women’s autumn-winter hat
Borik – men’s autumn-winter headdress
Tymak – men’s spring-summer headgear
Saukele – bridal headdress, very tall and ornate
Kazakh footwear should be durable and warm to prevent the feet from freezing even during the cold windy weather. Locals prefer leather boots but some shoes are also used. Winter boots have a wide top because people wear thick felt stockings beneath them. Summer shoes and boots are made from soft leather and have a small heel. Female footwear is often embellished with embroidery and applique.
Kaykayma, saptama, shopay, buiyk, masi, zhumsak taban