Abayas are made in many different ways and with many different designs. A lot of the influence of the design, colour and material comes from the geographic location of where the abaya is made or worn.
An abaya made in Turkey for the local market will ideally have at the least one area of the abaya that has a printed design. The abaya material will be shiny or have a very smooth surface such as using a satin material. The material of the abaya will also be quite thick and of high quality. It is also common to design abayas in the shape of coats.
An abaya in the United Arab Emirates made for the local market will be of a very light material and have a light and bright colour. Many of the abayas will be very shiny and have beaded or stone work done onto the abaya. Tassels would also be used along the joints or at the edges. The abayas usually tend to match the khimar or headscarf in this case and are made of the same material as the actual abaya.
In India or Pakistan the abaya if made for the local market will be black in colour and of cotton material normally. The abaya would have embroidery in dark colours such as maroon and navy blue. There would also be patch work with a shiny material mostly on the sleeves and collars. The embroidery is mostly done on the arms and at the bottom of the abaya.
An abaya worn in Indonesia would be of a very light colour and made mainly of cotton. The khimar to match the abaya would be a very large size. It is common to use cutwork rather than embroidery to create a design on abayas in Indonesia. The abaya is very popular in Indonesia and is worn by thousands of Muslim women there.
In Egypt the abaya would be made of a very light material but in very bright colours. The Egyptians are very well known for their creativity in styling abayas. The materials used could be from silk, polyester to cotton and georgette. The abayas have loads of tassels and laces on the sleeves and the back area. This helps loosen the abya even more if required. The sleeves are usually more loose and longer. Some abayas in Egypt even have gloves attached to it that can be worn or tucked into the sleeves.
Abayas are worn using various styles around the world and the variety keeps increasing. In Europe and the US many styles have been adapted by Muslims and new styles have also been created under the label of jilbabs. The motive of all Islamic dresses irrespective of location or origin is the same, to dress modestly.
Information is from MUSLIMBASE
Images are from NOURAASHLEY