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38.5" x 59" (98 x 150 cm)
Estimated age: 1990's
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Suzani textiles go all out for impact in color, size and their recognizable floral flair. Appropriately, the word suzani means needle, but is used to refer to the larger tapestries.
Throughout history, nomadic women and girls of Uzbekistan embroidered these large tapestries to adorn their yurts and tents. They were dowry pieces as well as a way of adding a personal stamp to ones living space. Large pieces were often worked on by several people at once, each on a strip that would later be joined together. Sometimes the strips wouldn't match up or someone would go nuts on their own colors of choice. I remember when I first saw these textiles over 20 years ago- I fell in love with the organic fluidity of the motifs, the imperfections, and the wild color choices. It was my introduction to the silk road and I have been hooked since.
Suzanis have always been a source of good income for women, too. Village women wanted them for their homes and to this day, embroidery continues to be a vital source of income for Uzbeki women. Older suzanis are highly collectible. They often use silk threads with tight embroidery, but are becoming harder and harder to find.
Visit Rayela's Fiber Focus for more articles on suzanis: fiberfocus.blogspot.com/search/label/Suzani
Afghanistan has been at the heart of the crossroads for the Silk Road for centuries. Nomads and generations of ethnic groups have thrived on trade and beautiful handicraft skills. Textiles, embroidery and carpet weaving continue to represent a plethora of skills that extend on into metal work, wood work, and ceramics. Designs reflect both the beauty of nature and life of spirit in choice of colors and fluidity of the design.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Handcarved semi-precious beads are the core focus of the business, but we also have a huge inventory of old and new textiles, carvings and metal work. Visit our shop here on Etsy to see our beautiful treasures!
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