Uzbek art fabrics

Wool, cotton and wool are raw materials for weaving; main craft in central Asian region. It exists since long. The towns: Margilan, Kokand, Samarkand, Shakhrisyabz, Bukhara, Urgut, Zandane, Vardane, Kitab for ages were famous by their weavers.

There are many fabrics, the production of which became authentic art, so beautiful their patterns, so harmonic the combinations of their colors, so symbolic their patterns.

That is "alacha", dappled, beamy, with longitudinal patterns in strip and with dark-blue threads of fond. Wide striped half-silk fabric without abrov pattern is called "bekasab". Male gowns are sewn from it. But the most outstanding phenomena in the art culture of Uzbekistan is the unique fabric "khan atlas". Such fabric exists and produces only in Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan. It is called "abrov", and in Europe they call it "ikat". The technique of thread binding reservation imparts that fabric surprising patterns.

They like lush paints in the Orient, therefore fabrics here are dyed into intensive-bright colors. In Fergana valley they prefer seven combining colors: golden-yellow, red, green, black, pink, violet, white.

The very various patterns decorates fabrics "khan atlas". During the years of independence the manual production of fabrics started developing, they started reproducing of ancient patterns filled with ancient semantics.

Small drawing of background pattern has important role with general formation of abrov ornament. They depict amulets, called "tumorcha", snake trace "ilon izi", horn "shokh", crest "tarok", drum "nogora". As we have already mentioned, they depict jar "kumag" as symbol of water. Illuminator "chirog" is the symbol of cleaning fire, and apparently, the semantics of that image goes by its roots to Zoroastrism. Plant ornaments is reflected by stylized images of plants or their fruits: they depict tree, flowers in vase, almonds, pea, pomegranate. Figures of people and animals in the images on fabrics are rather strongly stylized and sometimes practically not seen. Anthropomorphic motives represent the figures, which by hands and legs are bound into festoons.

"Kuchkor shokh" horns of ram, tiger tail, camel trace, image of scorpion or violet crow "sapsar karga"; in that way the master calls his patterns. Butterfly "kapalak" depicted in the center of rhombus grid is read very distinctly. All those patterns were bearing in themselves distinct magic sacral sense, protecting their owners from bad eye and evil spirits. They were symbolizing fertility and were expressing good wishes for happy life and the very best.

The special kind of textile were velvet fabrics, and among them inimitable illuminating velvet fabric "bakhmal". In the art sense, it is the most attractive and valuable textile produce. Peacocks, hills, cypresses, rosettes were also depicted on it. The ornament of abrov velvet is similar by its style with the pattern of weaved piled rugs, as the process of manufacture of the both is rather alike.

In the spring of 1998 the masters of Fergana valley had renewed the process for abrov velvet manufacture, which had been lost in the middle of the century.

In the end of ХХ century again on manual equipment they started weaving "khan atlas" and abrov "bakhmal", again they started reproducing patterns of surprising fabric, about birth of which there is beautiful legend.

Once upon a time the ruler ordered his weaver to weave the fabric, which nobody had seen. The weaver had been thinking for a long time, while in his thoughts he sat at night at the bank of Haus-Iruda. Hev looked at the water and saw clouds there. After coming home the weaver while memorizing what he had seen, had woven unusual fabric "light as cloud", "cool as ice". The ruler liked new fabric very much, and he ordered, that only wealthy people should wear clothes from it and he called it "khan atlas", according its cost it was very expensive, as to weave it was rather difficult. And the name "abrov" from Persian "abr" means cloud, and reminds us about poetic legend of "khan atlas" appearance.