Suzani Style

Possibly one of the most popular textiles of the last decade, and one of my personal favorites, suzanis are embroided decorative tribal fabrics typical for Uzbekistan but produced throughout Central Asia. Suzanis are silk (or cotton) thread embroideries on a cotton (or silk) base and are often made of two or more pieces that are then stitched together. The term ¨suzani¨ comes from the Persian ¨suzan¨, which means ¨needle¨. Some of the most popular suzani motifs you can see around are sun and moon disks, flowers (tulips, irises, carnations) as well as other vegetation. Leaves usually beautifully surround the central patterns, spreading around the edges of the entire piece.

Café Design | Suzani Style | www.cafedesign.us

{I am fascinated by their beauty and complexity, perhaps my Hungarian heritage is calling 🙂 }
One of the greatest Suzani centers in the world is the Uzbek city of Bukhara. Suzanis are a great part of the Uzbek textile-rich culture and symbolize the strong bond between mothers and daughters. Since hand-embroided suzanis are extremely labor-intensive and part of a girl’s dowry, work on these pieces starts shortly after a daughter’s birth and is divided between the women of a family (grandmothers, aunts, cousins, …they all work together to create beautiful fabrics for the bride-to-be).

Café Design | Suzani Style | www.cafedesign.us

{Grandmother teaching her granddaughter suzani embroidery. LOVE!}

Colorful and attention-grabbing, their popularity in western décor stems from their ability to inject life and color in any space. Larger pieces are great as wall hangings or bed covers, while smaller ones make perfect pillow covers.

Café Design | Suzani Style

Café Design | Suzani Style

Café Design | Suzani Style

Café Design | Suzani Style

Suzani 4

Café Design | Suzani Style

 Above, a red on dark background suzani is used as a table cloth creating contrast and drama in a more traditional dining room.

Café Design | Suzani Style

Bellow, larger pieces are used in an unexpected way as statement upholstery. An otherwise neutral back drop can be enlivened with a pretty suzani. While most fabric lines these days cary suzani patterns, my favorite sources for vintage suzani embroidery are Etsy and Ebay.

Café Design | Suzani Style

Café Design | Suzani Style

¨Suzanis were traditionally made by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry, and were presented to the groom on the wedding day. These hand-embroided vintage suzanis are infused with the character that only comes from everyday use. Perhaps created by a bride-to-be to show her devotion to her bethroted and then in lean times bartered away to a traveling Gypsy for money or household necessities pulled from the depths of his donkey cart. The story of each of these suzanis is as rich as their colors, as intricate as the designs that cover their surfaces.¨ (Wikipedia) Lovely, isn’t it?

Anyway, I’m off for the week, but not before wishing you all a great Mother’s Day weekend! Don’t forget to be extra loving with your mamas 🙂

xoxo,

Eva

2 Comments

  1. Ivan
    May 6, 2016 / 11:33 am

    It is quite lovely indeed!

    • Eva Contreras
      May 6, 2016 / 11:34 am

      Thanks, sweetie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *