March 2, 2010

Suzani Textiles

A visual delight within the hustle and bustle of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, are the hand embroidered Suzani textiles.

Suzani, the Persian word for needle, refers to hand-made embroidered textiles that originated within villages along the "Silk Road", an area that is known today as Uzbekistan.  This "road" served to connect the cultures of Europe, Turkey and China with the Muslim world.  The Suzani's produced were local to each village in terms of style, motif and color.  These visually rich textiles were made by the women of the village and were often used as part of a marriage dowry and in some circumstances, they served as an economic resource for the village when women would be commissioned to weave the textile for wealthy travelers passing through the region.

Motifs range from a stylized vine along the border, a palmetto which is a fan shaped botanical motif and the teardrop shaped Tree of Life, which caught my eye in the Suzani below and quickly found a place in my suitcase!

Suzani textiles are a great way to put an ancient twist on your interior.  Miles Redd used it as a tablecloth below:

Decorator Matthew Patrick Smyth draped an upholstered footboard with a 19th C. suzani:

The Suzani aesthetic is at your fingertips with these great finds:

A throw pillow from Madeline Weinrib:

A serving tray from Decorative Things:

An area rug from Circa Trade:

Interior images provided by Elle Decor, Style and Substance

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