Jorabs

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Dagestan-style jorabs
Dagestan-style jorabs

Jorabs are ethnic multicolored socks with intricate patterns, knitted from the toe-up. They are usually worn in such a way as to display rich decoration.

Etymology[edit]

The word "Jorabs" originates from Persian جوراب (jourab) which has a general meaning of “socks”. Other known variants of the term: “çorap” (Turkish), “чорап” (Bulgarian, Macedonian) “charape” (Serbian), “Corab” (Azerbaijani), “Čarapa” (Croatian), and “Ҷӯроб” (Tadzhik).

The same concept is also known by such local terms as “kyulyutar” in Lezgin, “tturs” in Tsakhur, and “unq’al” in Avar languages of Dagestan.

Materials[edit]

Jorabs are made of wool, silk, nylon or sometimes cotton. Other materials include acrylic and blends of wool and cotton.

Jorabs with Bosnian toe

Geography[edit]

Jorabs are found in Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan), Caucasus (Dagestan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia); also in Iran, and mountain areas of Pakistan. They are also known in the Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. England

Shape[edit]

Jorabs can be knee-high, regular length, ankle-length, or made as slippers. An early predecessor of jorabs, a knee-high 12th century sock with toe-up construction and intricate patterns, was found in Egypt with possible origin in India.

Tools[edit]

Jorabs are usually knitted with 5 double-pointed needles. Bosnian and in old Tadzhik socks feature a combination of knitting and crochet techniques. Tadzhik jorabs (Pamirs area) can be made by using crochet technique only. Some ethnic groups from the Caucasus knit jorabs with 3 double-pointed bow-shaped needles.

Books[edit]

Kenan Ozbel Knitted stockings from Turkish villages.

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts Ethnic Socks & Stockings: A Compendium of Eastern Design & Technique

Anna Zilboorg Simply Socks: 45 Traditional Turkish Patterns to Knit

Betsy Harrell Anatolian Knitting Designs: Sivas Stocking Patterns Collected in an Istanbul Shantytown

References[edit]

Traditional Macedonian Costumes

Bulgarian ethnic socks

From Carpets to Jourabs

Silk socks from Kurdistan

Azerbaijan Carpets

Balkan Socks