The Kaftan is a dress that is worn all across the globe. It is one of the few dresses that has a significant cultural and historical background across many countries. This cultural status is accented in Morocco, where the kaftan is worn only by women, just like the burka. In Morocco, this traditional dress is used as an everyday outfit or as a dress for the special occasions. The materials that are used to make the kaftan depend on the occasion it is to be worn at.
The first recorded mention of the loose robes in the Moroccan culture dates back to the 16th century, which is considered quite late since the kaftan had already been worn in the Middle East for centuries now. Nevertheless, the kaftan made to Morocco after the Spanish Inquisition when the Muslims in Andalusia were being forced to flee to Morocco. These refugees brought the kaftan with them and the materials that were used to make it. Ever since then, the fabrics that are used to make the kaftan are made in Morocco.
The Moroccan kaftans signify the diversity in culture and its influence over the heritage. Walking into some medinas in Morocco, you will notice that the same traditionals materials for the kaftan are being made even today. Men and women prepare the colorful threads and homemade buttons, which are used in the embroidery of the kaftans.
The kaftans made out of cotton are quite abundant and popular in the region since they are the ones that are best suited for the hot summer days. A kaftan is different from a djellaba even though the two look quite similar. The lack of a hood on the djellaba is what differentiates it from the kaftan. The djellaba is accepted as a dress for both males and females, while the kaftan is an exclusive dress for women. It is defined by its long sleeves and long cuts, ensuring that heels are used as an accessory.
The kaftan boasts of elegant designs as well. However, these designs are restricted for special occasions and weddings only. Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma has been voted twice as the best dressed women, once at the King Willem-Alexander investiture in 2013, and the other at the ceremony when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got hitched in 2011. Both these times, she was dressed in elegant kaftans.