Framing a Suzani

So, I (obviously) haven’t felt much like blogging lately. We’ve been soaking up our time here in Brussels and having adventures in the surrounding countries. Although, with the end of summer coming so quickly, I now find myself daydreaming about decorating. Being cooped up in sterile corporate housing makes me a little stir crazy to paint or reupholster something!

I’ve got plenty of ideas for changing up our house in Cambridge this fall (my poor, sweet husband is so patient with me…), but right now I’m thinking of suzanis.

Straight from wikipedia: Suzani, an antique and decorative tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asia countries. Its name is from the Persian سوزن Suzan which means needle.
I learned about suzanis a few years ago and since then have noticed them all over the place in design magazines and books. Decorators use them as table cloths and bed spreads, for upholstering chairs, love seats or ottomans, or for cushions and pillows.
Suzani jewelry box that used to be available through Anthropologie
Madaline Weinreib Ikat and suzani pillows. To die for. Via Apt Therapy

pillow case available here


I really love the idea of framing a smaller-sized suzani (they are usually quite large). You don’t have to be a textile nut like me to appreciate the bright colors and bold patterns, not to mention the incredible workmanship.
Each piece is hand-embroidered and uniquely designed, which means with a little patience and a lot of searching, you can usually find the style and color scheme that you’re looking for.



While the large pieces can get pricey, small suzanis especially are quite affordable on eBay. You can easily find a small-scale suzani for $20-$100, which is pretty cheap for a beautiful and original work of art. I’d go as simple as possible with the framing. Sleek lines and white matting (or no matting) so that the textile can be the star of the show. As a budget-friendly alternative to custom framing, I’m sure IKEA has something that would fit the bill.

  1. Terese

    if I had a nickel for all the design terms I’ve learned from you… Love the suzani. i can’t wait to see what ideas you cook up when you get back to holden g.

  2. I love the little pink one! It looks less structured than some of the more formal pieces, but still keeps in the style.

  3. GNurik

    I also fall in love with suzanis!!!
    After reading this article I have googled a lot and found nice source for this great art of interior designing. I it is no prohibited, I will show the store url: oriental-creations.com and go to Suzani section. Here is the full link – http://www.oriental-creations.com/suzani-embroidery.html Thank you!!!

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