Tree Of Life Cotton Suzani Panel



A Tree of Life Suzani panel mounted onto a linen background and board. Uzbekistan Circa 1960. The background fabric is cotton and the needlework is a mixture of cotton and silk. The edges of the board have been covered with a Turkish cotton braid.

Dimensions: 23 1/2" wide. 32 1/2" high
Dimensions: 60 cms wide x 83 cms high

"Suzani" means needlework, coming from the Persian ‘Suzan’ which means needle. The art of making such textiles in Iran is called Suzandozi (needlework). In the nineteenth century, Uzbek women produced fabulous embroidered hangings, bed covers, wrapping cloths, table covers, and prayer mats for their households and their daughters' dowries. Since the downfall of the Soviet Union, the central Asian trade in this old craft has opened up, giving the people of places like Uzbekistan a new income. Suzanis usually have a cotton fabric base, we have been able to source a number of high quality weavings where the base is made from silk and embroidery threads are also silk.

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Uzbek Suzani (Persian: ‘needle’) is a traditional Central Asian embroidered tapestry made on silk, velvet or cotton cloth. Since ancient times suzanis have been integral parts of the common home interior decoration in the region. They also served as talismans. The largest ones - 2-3 meters in length and about 2 meters in width - were usually hung in homes to mark family festive occasions. Suzanis were always made by women, including brides whose needlework was the most colorful, as a rule. A suzani design signifies a happy marriage and so is very important. An ordinary Central Asian girl started embroidering her suzani at the age of 10-12 and had to finish it by her wedding day, leaving one of the designs of it incomplete - a sign that she wanted to have a daughter who would go on making suzanis in the future. Embroidery skills were highly valued in Central Asia in the past.

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