The specificity of indigenous peoples’ clothing has long been determined by climatic and domestic conditions and tribal traditions. In the 19th century, clothing (robes, dresses and shirts) still retained features of archaism: wide, long, one-piece and freely falling, hiding the human body shape. Uzbek clothes were characterised by their uniformity – winter and summer, men’s, women’s and children’s clothes were similar in shape and cut.
The traditional national male costume consisted of a warm quilted coat – chopon, tied with a scarf or shawls, a headdress and boots made of thin leather. The men wore a straight-cut shirt on the bottom and a coat on top. The robe could be light or warm, quilted with cotton wool. The sides of the coat had slits to facilitate walking and sitting on the ground. The Chopon coat was usually tied with a shawl or scarves.
The festive costume differs from the everyday costume in the beauty and richness of the fabrics, embroidery, etc.
Women’s costume consisted of a robe, a functional dress of the simple Khan Atlas type, and trousers – wide, thin, narrowed at the bottom. The women’s headgear consisted of three basic elements: Cap, scarf and turban. Women’s festive clothes differed from everyday clothes in the quality and beauty of the fabrics from which they were made. The Uzbek children’s clothes repeated the forms of the adults’ clothes. In addition to the general characteristics, the Uzbek clothes of each region or tribe had their own specificity, expressed in the fabrics used, the shape of the cut, etc.
The Tubeteika – a hard or soft cap with lining – has always been one of the most popular and widespread crafts in Uzbekistan. The tubeteika has become an integral part of the Uzbek national costume and has been integrated into the life and traditions of the Uzbek people. The most widespread forms of Uzbek tubeteikas are tetrahedral, slightly conical. The tubeteikas were made of two or more layers of fabric quilted and fastened with silk or cotton threads. The finished tubeteika was embroidered with silk thread, gold or silver thread. For many centuries, women in particular mastered the art of tubeteika embroidery. The flower motif, the almond-shaped motif “bodom” – symbol of life and fertility are the most common motifs adorning tubeteikas. Widely used in tubeteikas ornament is the pattern “ilon izi” (snake track), which plays the role of talisman.
Tubeteikas differ by region in shape, ornament, signs of artistic symbolism. The creation of a particular type of tubeteikas in this or that region influenced not only the natural conditions, but also the art traditions historically formed in that region and the general level of art and cultural development. For example, while in Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya (especially in Boysun) round, cone-shaped tubeteikas were embroidered with bright, contrasting silk threads, in Bukhara they were mostly decorated with gold embroidery. The earliest tubeteikas were made in the towns of the Fergana Valley: Khust, Margilan, Kokand and Andijan. Shahrisabz “Gilam duppies” were particularly notable for the continuous stitching in the technique “Iroqi”. In Tashkent, most of the women’s tubeteikas were embroidered in the Iroki technique with continuous cross-stitch, dominated by floral motifs on a white embroidered background. To the names of these tubeteikas was added the name of the town where they were made: “Chust doppi”, “Kokand doppi”, “Shahrihon doppi”, “Margilan doppi”, “Gilam (Shahrisabz) doppi”, etc. Local characteristics were sometimes expressed so strongly that a person’s affiliation to this or that place was determined by the headgear.