Suzani decorative embroidered textiles are some of the most beautiful and colorful pieces of art fabrics in the world today.Functional aspects of art have always appealed to me, and although these works originally were conceived to be simply useful, they really do add so much beauty to everyday life. I’m a world traveler, as are many of my clients, and I love nothing more then mixing global touches into many of the interiors that I work on. Fabrics are a favorite way to do so. The word “suzani” comes from persian word “suzan” which means- needle. Originally, authentic Suzani’s were found along the Silk Trade Route in Central Asia in such countries as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. These decorative embroideries are hand-stitched on square panels by women using age-old tradition’s and are then connected together to create larger sized pieces.
Suzani’s usually have a cotton (sometimes silk) fabric base, which is embroidered in silk or cotton thread. Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers (especially tulips, carnations, and irises), leaves and vines, fruits (especially pomegranates) in geometric forms. In the nineteenth century, Uzbek women produced these fabulous embroidered pieces for hangings, bed covers, wrapping cloths, table covers, and prayer mats for their households and their daughters’ dowries. It wasn’t until the Soviet Era ended that Westerners became more familiar with exotic fabrics such as Ikat and Suzani. My favorite ways to incorporate Suzani’s in home decor are:
- As a bed spread
- As a cover over sofa’s and chairs
- As art-a wall hanging
- Used as upholstery for chairs or sofas
- And of course as accessories such as pillows, ottomans, puffs and throws