KAITAG, Textile Art from Daghestan
exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Emirgan, Istanbul
19 April to 19 August 2007


Kaitag region, south-west Daghestan
18th century
59 x 102 cm
silk embroidery on silk

A curved central medallion, filled with rosettes, has triangular spandrels, also filled with similar rosettes. The field is surrounded by a border, made of a repeat of the triangular spandrels. At the centre of each end border is a twin-horned shape, reminiscent of a trident motif also found in an Avar flatweave. The triangular spandrels create an optical effect similar to that formed by certain tile designs. The eye constantly moves involuntarily from a single unit to the four units in a diamond shape, and again to the whole lattice, giving a sense of movement to the design.

There is a jewel-like quality in the tightness and regularity of the laid and couched stitching and the reverse double chain stitch forming alternating colour outlines. The eight colours are set against an unusual purple silk ground. The purple colour is the effect of a blue warp and a red weft, which tested as madder dye; the 8-mm selvedges are made of white warps and the same red wefts. The silk ground is backed by an 18th century Indian cotton cloth, printed with floral plants.


return to: Kaitag, Textile Art from Daghestan - A Selection

text and images © Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
and textile-art, London, 2007:
not to be reproduced without permission