Armenian national clothing
Taraz is the name of the Armenian National Dress. Garb or Taraz is one of the traditional elements of culture and lifestyle.
Armenian traditional clothes, worn for centuries in daily life and at festive events, are a reflection of the people’s cultural identity.
It reflects a rich cultural tradition. Wool and fur were utilized by the Armenians along with the cotton that was grown in the fertile valleys. During the Urartian period, silk imported from China was used by royalty. Later, the Armenians cultivated silkworms and produced their silk.
They are varied in each region, with the clothing of each province bearing a unique style and features. Clothing also varied widely depending on the gender, age and social status of the person and on the occasion for which it was worn.
In an Armenian family, men's clothes, especially the head of the house, were paid special attention, as men judged the family as a whole by their appearance.
The traditional Armenian costume for men consisted of a low-collared silk or cotton shirt with a side clasp which was paired with wide trousers made from dark wool or cotton. Over the shirt was worn a cotton or silk arkhalig, a jacket with a low collar fastened from the waist down with hooks or small buttons.
Western Armenians wore an unfastened waistcoat and a waist-length jacket with long sleeves. Instead of a belt, a long, wide, woven scarf would be wrapped around the waist several times.
The collection of Armenian women’s costumes begins during the Urartu period, wherein dresses were designed with creamy white silk, and embroidered with gold thread. The costume was a replica of a medallion unearthed by archaeologists at Toprak Kale near Lake Van in eastern Turkey, which some 3,000 years ago was the site of the capital of the Kingdom of Urartu
The current traditional clothes for women in both the eastern and western regions consisted of a long arkhalig dress with a slit on the chest and below the hips. The waist was wrapped in a long, folded silk or woolen scarf. For western Armenian women, an embroidered apron and ornamentation were also indispensable.