Unveiling the artistry: a behind-the-scenes look at our suzani cushions
Here at INSIDE, we embrace and honour the extraordinary beauty of traditional craftsmanship. To celebrate the arrival of some brand new designs, we wanted to share with you a fabulous behind-the-scenes video, and some background on what suzani is and how it is created.
The term "suzani" comes from the Persian word "suzan," meaning "needle." Suzani textiles are decorative embroidered cloths from Central Asia, which emerged along the Silk Road connecting China, Turkey, Europe, and the Middle East, originally in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Usually hand-stitched by young girls to form part of their dowry, suzani was used as decorative hangings, bedding, and prayer and seating mats. Beyond their practical uses, these vibrant pieces held symbolic significance. Each stitch represented spiritual power, with four stitch types (basma, chain, tambour, and kanda-khayol) forming motifs believed to offer protection, strength, fertility and longevity. Contemporary suzani embroidery now incorporates additional stitches such as satin, chain, and buttonhole stitching. Due to their charm and beauty, old suzani textiles can sell for thousands of dollars.
Suzani is still produced today. There are (inevitably) machine-produced versions, but it is still possible to buy suzani made the traditional way and here at INSIDE, we are proud to present a collection of stunning, hand-embroidered pieces by Saamro. (We hasten to add that these are not made by young girls, but skilled craftsmen and women).
Behind-the-scenes: the creation process
The process begins with the selection of fabric onto which the design is drawn or transferred. Using a variety of stitches, the artisan meticulously sews intricate patterns and motifs onto the fabric. Carefully executed, with each thread looped or woven by hand, the stitches result in a raised texture and a stunning visual effect.
The embroidery process requires great attention to detail and precision. Thread colours are carefully selected to create vibrant and harmonious compositions. The artisan may also incorporate additional decorative elements such as gold-toned sequins and metallic gold strings, as seen in the video, or mirrors and beads, to enhance the overall aesthetic.
The design above is available for purchase here and in stores.
We love how easy it is to blend a Suzani design with contemporary aesthetics, as seen above with our brand new Suzani cushion combined with one of our recent arrivals, Weaver Green's teal diamond cushion, and Chicoracao's red recycled cotton calcada cushion.
Explore our stunning selection of hand-embroidered cushion covers online and in stores!