A dervish of Syria. Each order has its particular costume.

Dervish, Ottoman empire, Syria
A dervish of Syria. Ottoman empire 1804.

A dervish of Syria. Ottoman empire.

THE various institutions of the Dervishes (Sufi) are established upon different principles. Each founder gave a distinctive character to his sect, by the statues, regulations, and practices, which he appointed.

The differences, which we may remark in them, extend even to their dress. Each order has its particular costume; and in most of them we may observe a difference even between the Dervishes and their Schiekhs, or superiors, particularly their turbans, the form of their dress, the colour and nature of the stuff of which it is made.

The Schiekhs of Syria generally wear a robe of white or green cloth, while very few Derwishes are permitted ever to wear cloth. A species of felt, called aba, which is manufactured in some of the towns of Anatolia, is the usual material of their dress. Those, among the Dervishes, who are most actuated by zeal. voluntarily undergo the most austere acts. In order to prevent their falling asleep, some of them will sit during the whole night in the most inconvenient and irksome positions. They will often sit with their knees and hands fastened by a leathern strap round their neck as close up to their face as possible. Others will tie their turf of hair by a cord to the ceiling, so that they cannot lie down.

This plate represents the form of their hair.


Note:  Apache medicine shirts. The medicine-men of the Apache.

Leave a Reply

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ― Vogue.com

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

FASHIONPEDIA is a visual fashion dictionary covering all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics. It encompasses rich, extensive information and yet is easy to read. Whether you are an industry insider or a fashion connoisseur, FASHIONPEDIA is all you will ever need to navigate the fashion scene.

Textilepedia. The Complete Fabric Guide.

The Textile Manual is an encyclopaedia of textile information, from material to yarn, from fabric structure to the finishing process. Encompassing practical tips for a range of textiles and detailed visuals, this ultra-accessible manual is the perfect companion for fashion aficionados and aspiring fashion designers.

Church Vestments and Textiles by Margery Roberts

Sewing Church Linens by Elizabeth Morgan.

Vestments for All Seasons by Barbara Dee Baumgarten.


Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.