Monday, August 23, 2010

if you knew suzani

for whatever combination of reasons, i've found myself gravitating towards suzani and ikat prints in a way i never was before (more on ikat later this week, and here. and here.) suzani means needlework, and are defined as "decorative tribal textiles made in tajikistan, uzbekistan, kazakhstan and other central asian countries." and i love them. a lot.

generally, suzanis carry meaning in regards to fertility, household stability, protection and health, so they make a perfect decor item in any home. i love the idea of mixing these patterns in with other patterns and pieces of furniture and art that don't directly correlate.

to me, textiles like these add such warmth and grounding to a space, and contribute to the feeling of a home that has come together over time. of course, there is a great appeal to the real deal, visiting these countries themselves and sourcing your one perfect piece from a local market, but there is also a wealth of access out there to collections of these pieces, including great sources on ebay. here are some of the pieces i love that i found there:

how gorgeous are these? and what's really lovely is that most of the sellers of pieces like these know a great deal about each one, so you have a sense of the provenance of what you're buying, which is so authentic, and really a nice connection to the craftsmanship and culture of the suzani.

a large piece like these is perfect as a wall hanging, a bed cover (on top of a comforter) or a topper over a tablecloth. they even look amazing just draped casually over a great chair or ottoman. wisteria sells some pretty ones which are "inspired" by vintage suzani fabrics, shown here.

for other real-deal suzani pieces, i love jayson home and garden (let's be serious, love them for everything) and i particularly adore these pillows:

and etsy shop material recovery is a mind-blowing sea of vibrant colors and textiles. it's a project put together to "unite antique embroidered textiles.....with furniture salvaged from second hand stores." YES PLEASE. look at this bench and chair:

I DIE. sort of reminds me of this anthro chair i was coveting. and then the pillows:

for some other beautiful "suzani-inspired" pieces, wisteria has a few pillows i love, and an ottoman that's pretty close to perfect. i love the image of it in front of a broken-in leather couch and an oriental rug underneath.

etsy seller eleganttouch makes pillow covers inspired by suzani designs which are a less expensive (around $50 each) step into the suzani world. these are my favorites - i love how they're sort of washed out looking, and think they'd look great in a more subdued, spa-like space, even though they are still vibrant.

even dwell by target has taken on suzani, though i would stick with the throw pillow since it has an embroidered texture which the comforter and shams do not -- so much of the look is about the embroidery, and i'd hate to have it all flattened out and mass-produced looking.

to me, even buying the reproduction versions of suanis supports the tradition of the embroidered art and keeps the place of the important heritage in today's design.

top two images from elle decor and soul pretty; all other images from linked sites

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