Unmodified Fabric Rectangles
|The simplest clothing is formed by wrapping or pinning an unmodified fabric length around the body. Simple cloaks such as the haik and chador are also formed from unmodfied lengths.|
Woman and child,
Izar (click to enlarge),
Fisherman in futah,
The izar is worn from Morocco to Syria - usually over a sleeved dress. The fabric is twice the height of the wearer. It is wound once around like a skirt and held with a sash, then is wound over the head. Parker
A similar garment is also worn by Nubians on the Sudanese border.
Berbers in Morocco also wear a similar style but using two rectangles. One for the skirt and the other for upper body. The skirt is sometimes referred to as a loin cloth or in Algeria a fouta Tafsout. This is basically the same as the futah in Yemen.
Pinned GarmentsBerbers in the Maghrib also wear a draped garment held with two pins at the shoulder - like the Greek peplos and fibula - in the Maghrib it is called melia or melehfa and bzima. Parker, Tafsout
Girl in melia,
Dresses pinned at shoulders,
Simple Wrapped Cloaks
Covered women in market,
Wealthy women in haiks,
HaikThroughout the Maghrib and eastwards, urban women cover their whole body with a sheer garment called the haik. This 6m x 2m length of fabric is made of fine wool and sometimes striped with blue or black over the white. Parker, Britannica
HandiraA heavier garment, more like a blanket or shawl, the handira is also worn in this region Parker
Women and girls in chadors
ChadorFurther east, the chador is worn as outer cloak. It was banned in Iran in the 1920s but made a come back in the 1950s and now required.
Other general types of clothing:
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