Su-su-su-zani!

Today I’m going to acquaint you with my latest love, the Uzbek Suzani.  These are traditional embroidered textiles from Uzbekistan, which are used functionally in the home as well as for special celebrations.  The stylized designs often refer to literal objects, such as legumes, vines, and tea pots.

I love them for their vibrancy, forms and graphic nature.  If you like them, you’ve GOT to check out Tribal Chase.  As a matter of fact, if you like textiles at all you should check them out.

Uzbek Suzani Patterns

(sourcing: calico corners, tribal chaseuzbek textile)

Because I’ve not been able to stop thinking about these lovely fabrics, I felt I had to try to sketch and paint some approximations.  I did these babies last week.  They were really fun.  It was nice to get lost in paint for a while…

sketches

Bluzani

Bluzani ii

Bluzani (detail)

Bluzani ii (side)

The design possibilities for suzani inspired art are just about endless.  Really a fun project, and if you can draw a circle (or even if you can’t – mine are wobbly!)  then you can work out a pattern.

I may have exorcised my Suzani obsession for the time being… but I’m thinking that Kilims would be great inspirations for a new project…

7 thoughts on “Su-su-su-zani!

  1. I love your paintings! So beautiful! The blue on blue sketches are wonderful too! The fabrics are gorgeous. I’ve been stuck on Indian block prints for a while now but the Uzbek Suzani are fantastic too. I’d like to do my own interpretation as fabric. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey,
    For more inspiration check out Tajik suzani designs. Next door to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan has a different embroidery technique and includes different motifs. Have a look at this website for more info sohsa.nabwt.tj It’s in Russian, but there are plenty of pictures to inspire.

    • Thanks, Vicky! I appreciate the reference. Very interesting! What a cool project and website – I can’t wait to spend more time reading it.
      – Heidi

  3. These are beautiful! You say “anyone can do it,” but NO! Not anyone can do it. You can do it, and these are really, really lovely. I love seeing someone get inspired by something and running with it! Great work!
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