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The Textile Museum 2005.36.2

Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Bukhara, 1860s-1870s
The Textile Museum 2005.36.2.
The Megalli Collection. Photo by Renée Comet.



Woman's Robe (munisak)
Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Bukhara, mid-19t
h c.
The Textile Museum 2005.36.106.
The Megalli Collection. Photo by Renée Comet.



Exhibition Catalog
Available now at the TM Shop

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats
October 16, 2010 through March 13, 2011

Murad Megalli

Central Asian ikats are distinguished by bold, original designs using vibrant colors and are prized for their great beauty. In the streets of Central Asian oasis towns, a man’s clothing defined his status in society and proclaimed his wealth. In the home, and during family ceremonies, ikat textiles provided luxurious embellishment. Today the influence of ikat designs can be seen in contemporary fashion and home décor.


These textiles derive their name from the technique used to create them, wherein bundled warps—and sometimes also the wefts—are bound and dyed several times before weaving, resulting in eye-catching designs in dazzling colors. Ikats display Central Asian artists’ and weavers’ attention to the harmony between design, color and execution in order to create these master works.

A beautifully illustrated catalog presenting all of the textiles from The Megalli Collection will be published in conjunction with Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats. Offering a fresh and concise perspective on the rich ikat weaving tradition in 19th-century Central Asia, contributors include Feza Çakmut, Mary M. Dusenbury, Kate Fitz Gibbon, Andrew Hale and Susan Meller, Sumru Belger Krody and Sayera Makhkamova. Ikat is explored through a number of different lenses, including; the social importance of garments made from ikat fabric, the placement of ikat designs in the larger Central Asian context, the relationship between different ikat fabrics, the designs and construction of the garments, and the revitalization of the technique in Uzbekistan.

Catalogs are available now at www.textilemuseumshop.com and are available for purchase in the museum shop.

Watch a video of the exhibition installation below for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how these precious garments were prepared for display.

To make a donation in support of The Megalli Collection, please click here.

© 2011 THE TEXTILE MUSEUM, 2320 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008-4088,