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This short jacket, called a cepken, is an example of a wardrobe staple for Ottoman women of different classes and ethnicities in the eighteenth century. Worn by both rural and urban women, the cepken was generally made of wool or velvet, although other fabrics were sometimes used. The cepken could be decorated with embroidery or other kinds of trim, and sometimes had matching şalvar (baggy trousers). While the general shape of the garment has remained the same over time, the details of fabric and decoration changed to reflect current taste. This example is made of blue wool and is heavily decorated with an elaborate design executed in the laid cord technique. The standup collar, front opening, hem, and sleeves are all edged with a thick gold braid. The laid cord embellishment creates a look similar to the garments elaborately embroidered with gold metal-wrapped thread of earlier times, but with a modern, less labor-intensive mode of execution. According to information provided by the donor, the cepken was worn by her Muslim great grandmother from the Elazığ region of eastern Anatolia when she was married, ca. 1900.

Cepken, Wool, cotton, metal wrapped thread; embroidered

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