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Textiles & Clothing

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Already in the earliest publications that deal with the Ottoman Empire, we find depictions of inhabitants of various origins wearing “Ottoman” clothing. So-called “Costume Books” were especially popular in the 16th until18th centuries. In the 17th century “Oriental dress” was frequently used in Dutch painting (often in Biblical scenes). In the 17th century the first real Ottoman garments must have arrived in the Netherlands, bought for instance by travelers and merchants. In the 17th and 18th centuries raw materials and various cloths (cotton, silk, mohair) were by far the most important goods of Dutch-Ottoman trade. In the 18th century fashion a la turque (part of European rococo turquerie/turquoiserie) also reached the Netherlands and various garments of Turkish origin became popular among the rich. Nowadays Ottoman textiles form a source of inspiration for modern Dutch designers who use various décors (çintamani etc.) for new designs and products. The Textile Research Centre in Leiden has a rich collection of clothing from the Middle East, including Turkey.