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What is the History of the Thobes?

The thawb (thobe or tobe) is a garment closely associated with Arab culture. It has a rich history ingrained in the regional fabric. But what is the history of the thobes? WHy is it essential to learn about it?

Thawbs are more than simple apparels. They represent your cultural identity, social status, and practicality. With Al-Haq Thobes Shop, set out to discover the intriguing history of this classic robe-like garment.

Thawb: A Practical Attire in Deserts

The arid Arabian desert is the birthplace of the tobe. It all started with the need for practical clothes that could withstand the sweltering sun and wind-blown sand.

Traditionally, the thobe (dishdasha or kandura) was a loose-fitting, basic garment. It provided shelter from the weather. It was made of lightweight, breathable materials such as cotton or linen.

In pre-Islamic Arabia, it was a valuable and adaptable article of clothing worn by both sexes in settled and Bedouin nomadic communities. Nowadays, it is a typical outfit for men only.

Evolution of Thawbs: From Need to Fashion

The functional use of kanduras ended with the advent of Islam and the Islamic Golden Age that followed. It began to include elegance and social prestige while retaining its functionality. For instance:

  • Rich people used tobes of pricey materials like silk to demonstrate their social status.
  • Scholars and intellectuals preferred the long sleeves and high neck for increased protection from the scorching desert heat.

Regional Differences: A Cultural Tapestry

Despite its familiar basic shape, the dishdasha features regional variants that depict the rich diversity of Arab culture. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) favours a colourful headscarf when worn with a modest, beautiful thobe in pure white.

Thawbs in Oman are renowned for their elaborate needlework, which reflects the nation's rich cultural legacy. Saudi Arabia offers more designs, with tobes in varied hues and materials to suit different events and seasons.

A Symbol of Eternity!

The thobe is no longer restricted to a single location.  The world has noticed it because of its cultural significance, ageless elegance, and utility.  Modern trousers are available in a greater range of materials and designs to appeal to a larger range of consumers. 

Men are starting to wear thobes in more official and informal situations, demonstrating their growing interest in Arab culture and fashion.

The Bottom Line

Learning what is the history of the thobes serves as an example of cultural adaptability and human inventiveness.  From its modest desert beginnings to its widespread appeal, it has remained a representation of custom, pragmatism, and national pride.


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