February 11th, 2008

Oh Suzani

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.

11 Responses to “Oh Suzani”

  1. Paris Parfait Says:

    They are all just gorgeous! I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job at Maryam’s Peacock Pavilions. Will be thrilled to see it in person later this year!

  2. Maryam in Marrakesh Says:

    They are all so beautiful. I think the stencils are going to be just *amazing*.

    On the child labor issue, the new all silk ones are fine. It is the new ones with cotton from Uzbekistan that use cotton as the background material that is the problem. Uzbek children are being forced to pick cotton. The lesser know Kyrgyz embroideries are also lovely in their own way.

  3. barbara Says:

    Have fun with Maryam. I shall look forward to seeing the final paintings.

  4. Emma Says:

    Maryam and Chris are very lucky but it is well deserved. You get back what you put out right!

    I cant wait to see the stensils

  5. Melanie Says:

    Thank you for clarifying that Maryam! Now if I only had room in my house to display one!

  6. Passementerie Says:

    Ooh! Lucky Maryam! Those designs are fabulous – I also love the artwork on this blog – so very beautiful and unusual.

  7. Mélanie Says:

    What a wonderful inspiration ! Suzani are so colorful ! it would look great , it will be just the perfect mix of ” oriental” culture

  8. kim Says:

    These are going to be beautiful. How exciting for all of you. Can’t wait to see them!

  9. Lise Richards Says:

    These are beautiful and will look lovely at Peacock Pavillion. Can’t wait to see them in person.

  10. Melanie Says:

    Thank you all! Your business looks quite interesting Kim, beautiful blogs Lise and ALL. This silly work stuff really cuts into my web surfing but I hope to hop around a bit this weekend!

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