How to Use Vintage Suzani Fabrics in Your Home
If you are looking for a fresh, new way to liven up your home decor without making major changes, suzani fabrics may be the answer.
The term “suzani,” which is derived from the Persian word for “needle,” is used to describe an intricately embroidered fabric made in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and other parts of central Asia. Suzanis have a cotton or silk base that is embroidered in cotton or silk thread.
Frequently, suzanis were made in two or more sections that are stitched together.
Traditionally, groups of tribal women work together to create the decorative and colorful textiles. Popular designs found on vintage suzanis include the sun and the moon, flowers, leaves, vines, fruits and, less frequently, birds and fish.
The oldest known suzanis date back to the late 18th- to early 19th- centuries. However, textile historians believe the fabrics and the art of creating them go back many years before then.
Central Asian brides made suzanis as part of their dowries. A bride presented the richly decorated fabric to her groom on the day of their wedding. The cloth then became a treasured family heirloom over the years.
How can you use suzanis in your home? The answer is as limited as your imagination. Here are a few suggestions:
- Cover a tired or worn couch with a beautiful suzani throw
- Add color, warmth and style to your bedroom with a suzani bedspread or quilt
- Re-upholster a chair or a stool with suzani
- Toss some suzani throw pillows in key locations of your living room
- Create statement drapes with suzani
- Use a rug that is inspired by suzani designs as a focal point of your kitchen or dining room
- Try a vibrant suzani as a wall hanging
Today, vintage suzanis are prized collectors’ items that are displayed in museums, hotels and exquisite homes as a popular form of textile art.