Jorabs

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Dagestan-style jorabs
Dagestan-style jorabs

Jorabs are 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 Arabic جورب (jourab) which has a general meaning of “socks”. Other known variants of the term: “çorap” (Turkish), “чорап” (Bulgarian, Macedonian) “čarape” (Serbian), “corab” (Azerbaijani), “čarapa” (Bosnian), and “Ҷӯроб” (Tajik).

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.

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 Tajik socks feature a combination of knitting and crochet techniques. Tajik 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.

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Özbel, Kenan (1981). Knitted stockings from Turkish villages. Translated by Uysal, Ahmet E.; Fletcher, Mary; Tahtakılıç, Lesley; Quigley, Maggie E. (1st ed.). Ankara: Türkiye İş Bankası Cultural Publications. OCLC 10914107.  (LibraryThing page.)
  • Gibson-Roberts, Priscilla (1995). Ethnic Socks & Stockings: A Compendium of Eastern Design & Technique. Photographs by Alexis Xenakis (1st ed.). Xrx Books. ISBN 978-0-9646391-0-2. 
  • Zilboorg, Anna (2001). Simply Socks: 45 Traditional Turkish Patterns to Knit. Lark Books. ISBN 978-1-887374-59-0. 
  • Harrell, Betsy (1981). Anatolian Knitting Designs: Sivas Stocking Patterns Collected in an Istanbul Shantytown. Istanbul: Redhouse Press. ASIN B0006EAWVM. OCLC 8931599.