MEET THE ARTISAN - AFGHAN FAMILY ATELIER
The family have been running their atelier making coats, trading rugs and making home decors with vintage textiles.
They used to travel a lot between Turkey and Afghanistan to export lots of rugs but the economy crisis in Turkey left them without much opportunities and then the pandemic has further affected their livelihood.
My goal with SEDA was always to work with artisans worldwide. So, it feels so right to bring this into fruition.
Through this partnership between the artisans in the mountains of Afghanistan and me, a migrant Uyghur/Uzbek woman. We hope to share stories with you using vintage textiles of the forgotten and the untold communities.
Traditionally, Afghan coats were made from sheepskins or goatskins. The coats would be as long as ankles length, with full or half sleeves.
By the 1950-60s, the coats became a bit more colourful, embroidered with silk threads.
In the 70s, the popularity of the coats rose over night after the Beatles have been photographed wearing their Afghan coats.
The last 10-15 years the fashion totally changed, majority of Afghan coats are now made with vintage Suzani textiles.
Our artisan family have been making these coats for over 3 generations now. The family atelier is made up of 2 women and 4 men.
The main job is made by the men and all the linings and inside work is done by women.
The local men are still wearing these coats as winter clothing, in the forms of long overcoats, jackets and vests. Mostly neutral colours and without embroidery. But the women wear all types.
For this collection, we are launching 3 styles AYPATAM, ALIYA and RABIYA. (meaning behind the names will be explained soon.) Our Afghan coats are made with one of a kind vintage Suzani found in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the fur trims are 100% upcycled from old Mongolian rugs.
With each purchase, we are raising awareness of the Uyghurs in occupied East Turkestan, by donating part of our profit to the Tarim Network and the Uyghur Tribunal. (A page explaining our initiatives is coming.)