Traditional Azerbaijani garment Kalaghai is the soft, silk headscarf with various botanical, isomorphic and geometrical ornaments; buta, peacock, rose, daffodil, carnation, tulip, lily, pomegranate, quince, plum blossoms and various shaped leaves on it. It has been included in the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage on November 26, 2014 at the 9th session of UNESCO’s Interstate Committee. Kalaghai has been considered one of the inseparable parts of traditional Azerbaijani garment since the third millennium B.C.
The composition consisting of botanical and geometrical ornaments has symbolic and mysterious characteristics as a whole. It interprets great significance and passes this spirit from generation to generation. In a traditional Azerbaijani wedding ceremony, the bride wears a red kalaghai, which covers her face and embraces her body. The bridegroom’s shoulders are also covered with a kalaghai.
Every color of the kalaghai is related to an event or the age of the person: If there is any grief in a family, people wore dark-colored kalaghai (the dye was made of walnut); single young women generally wore light-colored scarfs (e.g. whitish color was made of the shell of apple tree) and so on. These ornaments were created on special wooden figures, solid woods called mold (made of pear or walnut trees) or little steel plates. The production, dyeing and decorating processes of the silk were conducted in batik method.