What’s Suzani Fabric? 6 Facts.
Before I started at OFS I had no idea what “Suzani” referred to. But over the past few months I’ve learned to spot the decor fabric style pretty easily. So while I’m sure those in the textile and interior design industries are familiar with the term, I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s not general knowledge. So what is Suzani, exactly? Here’s what I learned:
1. Suzani fabrics originated at least several centuries ago in Central Asia, (now Uzbekistan area), and were often created as part of bridal dowries.
2. The word Suzani comes from the Persian word “Suzan,” which means needle.
3. Suzani was originally an elaborately embroidered fabric, but today we see Suzani style prints that have no embroidery at all.
4. Suzani characteristics primarily include colorful vines and large floral medallions.
5. Traditional Suzanis were made from strips of fabric sewn together, and a design was drawn onto that. The strips were then taken apart and divided among many women in the village or family who embroidered them separately. Once complete, it was sewn back together to create one large, decorative piece.
6. While synthetic dyes have and are being used for Suzanis, they are also still vibrantly dyed using ingredients like pomegranates, indigo and walnuts today.
Here are a few more examples of both embroidered Suzani and Suzani-style prints.