Saturday, March 8, 2008

exotic samarkand

I have received 2 spools of my new Samarkand ribbon from Renaissance Ribbons this week: one is online already and possibly in the stores. It is glorious, if I say so myself. We are also producing it in jewel tones of emerald, amethyst, and sapphire, which will be coming soon. Today's offering is the ruby red on pale pink, and it looks smashing with hot pink silk.

My suzani ribbons are an homage to central asian embroideries called Suzani. Samarkands are some of the most recognizable suzanis to those of us here in the west. The current craze for all things Suzani is inspiring; I follow them daily on ebay and have watched prices skyrocket over the last year as the trend grows here. Suzanis, you probably already know, are made by women, primarily as dowry items, from countries such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The pattern is drawn on handwoven cloth seamed together from narrow strips; then after the drawing is made the strips are separated and taken home by the various family members to embroider, then re-joined in a small miracle of matching. Some suzanis are vintage and even antique but it is good to note that there is a terrific trade in brand new needle work. These cloths often feature natural dyed silk threads embroidered densely over hand-woven silk/cotton fabrics. The quality is remarkable.


  1. GORGEOUS! Wow, you can feel them sing!

    Love the designs, love the colors, love the exuberant *life* of them!

    Laura Foster Nicholson, you have added such beauty to the world. How cool.

    And what a wonderful homage to the suzani makers, to post this introduction of your Samarkand work on International Women's Day, March 8, 2008.

    IWD is pretty much ignored here in the U.S. but is a NATIONAL HOLIDAY in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Mongolia.

    Beautiful work, LFN. What a great way of continuing the tradition of textile art and celebrating the womanhood we all share.

  2. The designs and the patterns are too much attractive. These are awesome and give the traditional look. For the more information visit on www(dot)uzbekalive(dot)com. For the more information visit on www(dot)uzbekalive(dot)com.
    Central Asian Textiles