February 11th, 2008
Do you know of Suzanis? Even if you don’t, there is a very good chance that you have been seeing images of them in home fashion magazines and on the design blogs for the past year or so. I wrote this little post myself on the Art of Living last July. With the trend toward brighter colors and ethnic influences you will probably be noticing them even more. Suzanis are very colorful, elaborately embroidered silk wall hangings or bed coverings that originated in central Asia, primarily in what is now Uzbekistan. The name Suzani is actually derived from the Persian word for needle. There is a very informative article online here. Maryam collects antique Suzanis and plans to use them extensively throughout Peacock Pavillions and as I said they will also be used as the inspiration for the stencil art we will be applying there. I thought you might like to see some of the range of patterns we have been looking at for inspiration.
One of my favorite inspiration sites that I have written about here before is Marla Mallet’s. The link takes you directly to the page on Central Asian embroideries, but there is much, much more to see if antique rugs, fabrics and embroideries make you weak in the knees. Be prepared! There are both new and antique Suzanis for sale on this site, but Maryam advises that they are now using child labor to meet the demand for the newer ones, so she only invests in the antiques.
It makes for quite a hard decision when each pattern and colorway seems prettier than the last! With so many beautiful options, which will it be?? Oh, wait and see….
PS The middle design is not a Suzani, it is antique printed linen, but of a similar look and motif.