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10" x 10.5"
Metric: 25 cm x 26

Estimated age: 50 years+

Specifics on this piece: Tiny embroidered stitching divide the design into four defined corners set against a green silk background. Metallic braiding gives some sparkle to the piece. Stitching is impressive! Very tiny chain stitches form the designs. Edges are decorated with twisted threads that end in glass seed beads. Square textiles like this one fit perfectly on the low square tables used in the area and are often used as a doily when serving tea.

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.

"Traditional Textiles of Central Asia" by Janet Harvey, a wonderful illustrated book on textiles from Afghanistan and the region has a similar embroidery pictured. Harvey describes it:

"Embroidered squares can be made up into a dress bodice or be used with the four corners folded to the centre as a small envelope-bag. Pashtun nomad tribeswomen of Hazarajat have formed these striking symmetrical unit-designs in very closely worked ladder-stitch..."

Click on the zoom option for larger images.
The last photo shows the back.

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 store here on Etsy to see our beautiful treasures!

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Afghanistan: Vintage Embroidered Zazi Doily, Item 120


Only 1 available


  • Vintage item from the 1940s
  • Materials: silk, cotton, beads, trim
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 265 reviews
  • Favorited by: 36 people