Embroidered Textile (Suzani)

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Embroidered textile (suzani) 19th or 20th century, possibly Afghanistan Indigo dyed cotton with embroidery in silk thread and satin stitch University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, 2010-16.2

Embroidered textile (suzani)
Embroidered textile (suzani)


This modern embroidered textile, or suzani, is in immaculate condition. Its every inch is covered in expertly stitched embroidery. The dark indigo-black of the base cloth can hardly be seen beneath the dense embroidered patterns executed in a warm color palette of reds, oranges, and yellows, with occasional touches of pale green. The design is almost symmetrical across the width, and rows of arch-like motifs demarcate the textile's central point. The patterns of geometric motifs are worked largely on the diagonal. Such a large textile could have fulfilled a variety of functions as a wrapped garment or wall furnishing.

Bibliography: Gillow 2013, 231; Baker 1995; and Meller 2013.

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