Suzani Decorative Tribal Textiles

Suzani are decorative tribal textiles that are embroidered in silk or cotton threads onto a cotton or sometimes-silk base. These are made into bedspreads; wall displays to pillow covers… These exquisite pieces are hand embroidered by some of Central Asia’s most talented women. The stitches used are chain, satin or buttonhole and Suzanis are often made in two or more pieces that are then stitched together. Suzani translates literally to needle work, which refers to the embroidery technique. 

Sazani folk woman blog
Suzani Folk Woman in all of her gear!

Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers (tulips, carnations, and irises), leaves and vines, fruits (especially pomegranates), and occasional fish and birds. They are most often made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian Countries.

The oldest surviving known Suzanis are from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but it seems likely that they were in use long before that. There is some literature in the early 15th century with detailed descriptions of embroideries that were probably indications of the Suzani dating to older periods.

Suzanis were traditionally made for brides as part of their dowry, and were presented to the groom on their wedding day. These hand-embroidered vintage Suzanis were created by a bride-to-be to show her devotion to her betrothed and then in hard times bartered away to a traveling Gypsy for money or household necessities. The story of each of these Suzanis is as rich as their colors, as intricate as the designs that cover their surfaces.

The brightly colored silk embroidered designs add elegance to any room in your home. Accent with a tapestry for a bare wall, decorate as window treatments or have furniture custom designed with our ready to upholster textiles.

sazani tapestry
Sazani Tapestry
suzani pillows
Suzani Pillows

Santa Barbara Design Center offers a wide selection of colorful handmade textiles from India, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, China, Guatemala and Mexico.

If you are interested in these heirlooms then you’ll love our collection of vintage Suzani textiles.