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More About The Kaftan Dress

By Lucas Doyle

The kaftan dress – or caftan, as it is sometimes called – is not a complicated piece of clothing by any means. It has been around for centuries, worn by both women and men. It belongs in the group of garments containing tunics and robes, often worn as a court robe, with the level of embellishment found on a caftan being a sign of rank.

Originating in Morocco and most often linked to Islamic cultures, the caftan has now crossed borders to the Western world, where it is a popular fashionable item of clothing. It became very popular when the hippies were around in the 1960s and 1970s, drawing from ethnic details for inspiration.

This is an item of clothing that can be worn just as easily when lounging at home as it can for going out. There are many versions of heavily beaded kaftan gowns that work well for semi-formal events when worn with heels and a clutch. In the Western world, women are most found in caftans.

It is very easy to create an item like this at home, even for beginners. Fold a piece of fabric lengthwise so that it is the desired final length. Then, measure precisely where the center point of the fold line is. This is important to ensure that the arm length of the caftan is equal on both sides.

The neck hole must be big enough for the wearer’s head to fit through it. The neckline of the caftan can be any shape – V-neck, round or otherwise. This neck hole is cut into the fold of the fabric on either side of the center point.

You can finish the raw edges of the caftan using a binding or by facing them. If you have experience sewing then you will understand what is meant by creating a facing to neaten the edges of the neckline. If you are a beginner, you can easily hand stitch a trim for decoration along the edges of the piece to finish it. Alternatively, bind the edges with strips of fabric cut on the bias.

To finish the side of you caftan, decide whether you want it to be a very casual piece or not. For a simple throw over piece for the beach, you could opt to leave the sides open. Otherwise, you could put a small tacking stitch by the waist at the sides to hold them together. To finish the piece more properly, stitch right down the sides to the hem of the caftan, making sure to leave enough room at the top for the armholes.

The kaftan dress is very simple and versatile, but it can also have very elaborate embellishment in it in the form of beading or sequins. This embellishment is most often found around the neck hole, armholes and hemline of the caftan. A caftan can be any length, from short to just above the knee to floor-length. have a great range of clothing for your holiday, so if you are looking for a kaftan top for women or dress for the beach, visit

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Doyle, Lucas "More About The Kaftan Dress." More About The Kaftan Dress. 30 Dec. 2013. 2 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Doyle, L (2013, December 30). More About The Kaftan Dress. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Doyle, Lucas "More About The Kaftan Dress"

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