Friday, December 14, 2012

Life as a Bed of Roses: Uzbek Suzani

At last, I have fulfilled my dream: we made a pair of pillow cases from vintage Uzbek suzani.I bought this suzani last weekend; it was somewhat more expensive than planned, but I had to buy it. It has a lovely pattern with flowers and my beloved pomegranates, and the colors are so vivid - summer in the middle of the winter!

Suzani are widely used for ritual purposes, such as weddings. The one we used for the cushion covers is called 'gul kurpa' which means 'blanket of flowers'; traditionally, it serves as a bed spread for the newly weds, symbolizing good wishes for their life together.

Most of the elements of embroidery have a specific meaning - for instance, pomegranates mean prosperity, the wavy white stitch called 'suv' represents water, and water means everything for our dry region, as you may know - it is precious here; and there is also the representation of sun in this embroidery (see the photo below, on the right side of the pillow - it is like a white wheel). So, in general, this suzani means wishing a life to be like a fragrant garden, full of flowers in full bloom, ripe pomegranates and clean water running in small canals around - a very traditional Uzbek vision of happiness and prosperity. I have been to such gardens in reality, and I can tell you that I would not mind my life to be like them...

This pair of suzani pillows is for sale in our Etsy shop, here. I believe the price is more than reasonable - this is our first experience with suzani, and I just want them to sell quickly, and then we will make more. Hope they will make someone's life a bit more like a beautiful garden from an Uzbek fairy tale!


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