Afghani Belt

From: $7.00

Origin and Date: Afghanistan 19th Century
Rated: Beginning
Linen Count: 35 Count
Finished size: 3-1/4″x30″ (or to size)

SKU: samp-212 Category: Tags: ,


The enormous diversity of patterns and designs found on traditional textiles of western Europe, Turkey, Persia, India, and the Americas, demonstrates the universal vocabulary of this art form. Familiar shapes appear on 16th century rugs made on nomadic tribal looms, on 17th century English band samplers, even on printed textiles from 18th century French court ateliers. Ethnic textile patterns provide the contemporary textile artist with endless inspiration.

The original of this belt (or girdle) is Uzbek, from Central Asia and was made in the 19th century. The Uzbek population consisted of two groups: settled agriculturalists and nomadic groups. This belt was probably made by one of the nomadic groups. In the late 19th century , this group called itself Lokai (or Lakai). They migrated in and out of Northern Afghanistan; in fact today there are still Uzbek settlements there. The embroidered belt would have been attached to a leather backing, and would have had a metal “eye” at one end and a rectangular metal (probably silver) plaque at the other which would have concealed a hook. Executed entirely in cross stitch, the pattern is a repetition of traditional botehs, flowers and niches. The boteh design is a leaf-like shape, probably the inspiration for later “paisley” patterns. Named after the Scottish town of Paisley, noted for the manufacture of shawls with this motif. In Persian, the word boteh means “cluster of leaves”. The actual origins of the design are obviously unknown, but experts speculate it might have arisen from the impression created by a closed fist on a plaster or mud surface. The size of this belt can be adjusted by simply adding or subtracting sections of the repeating design. Sufficient material to stitch a belt of between 30 and 34 inches is included in the kit. We have lined our belt with red silk, which is not included in the kit.

Additional information

Kit Type

Silk Floss, Cotton Floss, Graph Only