Velvet Robe (chapan)
Central Asia, Uzbekistan
19th Century, Silk velvet
127 x 150 cm (50 x 59 in.)
Arlene C. Cooper
(Promised gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art)

Perhaps the most luxurious of all the central Asian silks was ikat velvet, here displaying an astonishing richness of color and a remarkable inventiveness of design. The extraordinarily rich flowering of silk ikat production in Central Asia appears to have occurred during the nineteenth century, a phenomenon that has yet to be satisfactorily accounted for. Although production continues to this day, the workmanship is of lesser quality than in former times, and the advent of synthetic dyes in the late nineteenth century introduced new and startling shades that are not always pleasing.

Velvet Ikat Robe