The Look of Suzani

Suzani, an 18th-century embroidered and decorative tribal textile, is getting a modern update from some of our favorite manufacturers such as Robert Allen, Ryan Studio and F. Schumacher. The name Suzani stems from the Persian word “needle” and is indigenous to the Central Asia region, predominately Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. This area was known as the Silk Roads, which connected Europe, Turkey and China to the Muslim world.

Typically suzani fabrics are made by couching, or when a decorative thread is laid on the fabric surface as a raised line and then stitched together with a second thread. These abstract design motifs include sun and moon disks, large print flowers, leaves and vines and fruits. During the 18th and 19th century, these beautifully embroidered fabrics were used as bedding, table cloths, prayer mats and surprisingly for a daughter’s dowry.  Today you can find suzani style fabrics as easily in an American household as one in Central Asia.

An Uzbek woman sketching a design for a suzani. Courtesy of Marla Mallett.
Suzani needleworkers. Courtesy of Marla Mallett.

We love Robert Allen’s reinterpretation this traditional stitch.

From Left to Right:
1. Robert Allen’s Flower Circle available at Decorators Best in Magenta
2. Robert Allen’s Flower Circle available at Decorators Best in Pool
3. Robert Allen’s Flower Circle available at Decorators Best in Prussian

Schumacher’s embroidered design below is inspired from a more traditional suzani.

From Left to Right:

1. Schumacher’s Konya Suzani available at Decorators Best in Mulberry/Peacock
2. Schumacher’s Konya Suzani available at Decorators Best in Bark/Cinnabar
3. Schumacher’s Konya Suzani available at Decorators Best in Mocha/Dusk

Here are some ways you can incorporate this fabric into your home.

This Louis XV–style bergère chair with vintage suzani upholstery. Courtesy of House Beautiful.

We also have these great suzani inspired pillows from Ryan Studio here at DecoratorsBest.

From Left to Right:

1. Ryan Studio Tribal Thread pillow available at Decorators Best in Sunset
2. Ryan Studio Tribal Thread pillow available at Decorators Best in Azure

We have some really great coordinating fabrics from Stout that work well with the Ryan Studio pillows.

Stout Fabric Available at DecoratorsBest. In Spice and Lake

What do you think of the suzani design?

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