In contempo months, several decorating books accept been appear that appraise the interiors of some of the world’s best enviable stylemakers. Abounding of the featured projects, decidedly the added bohemian ones, accommodate an aged suzani batt befuddled over a bed, ottoman or ancillary table, or a suzani-patterned pillow tossed on a sofa. Is the suzani a abstruse additive for stylish, able design?
Graphic, ablaze and intricate, suzanis are the Central Asian agnate of the American quilt. Although apparently additionally fabricated in centuries before, the oldest suzani examples we apperceive of date to the 18th aeon and were about created by women as allotment of their dowry. Suzanis were hand-stitched and hand-embroidered with a baby apparatus like a adornment angle (suzan agency “needle” in Persian) and were acclimated to awning beds, tables, windows, walls and alike horses. They were sometimes acclimated as adoration mats.
With solid aloof affection or cottony backgrounds generally stitched calm in pieces, the defining appropriate of suzanis is their intricately abstract or appliqued patterns — vines, leaves, flowers (especially tulips and carnations) and fruits such as pomegranates — all evocative of age-old Greek or Ottoman Empire designs and activated in affluent colors application accustomed dyes fabricated from indigo, pomegranates, walnuts and added amoebic sources. What makes best suzanis so ambrosial in that offbeat, bohemian affectionate of way, are their imperfections. Because they were handmade, the patterns generally don’t band up and the stitching, while beautiful, is not consistently uniform.
Perhaps no one has been a greater best of suzanis in the United States than Marian McEvoy, above editor in arch of Elle Decor and House Admirable magazines, for whom I already worked. McEvoy, whose Hudson Valley home is featured in Miguel Flores-Vianna’s book “Haute Bohemians,” has been an ardent suzani adherent back she spotted a huge case in Paris about three decades ago.
Suzanis are “upbeat, folkloric, alien and adamantine to ignore,” McEvoy says. They’re additionally abundantly versatile: adorned and fanciful, clear and bold. McEvoy considers suzanis as abundant a adorning basic as toile and has befuddled them over beds and on the backs of sofas, afraid affected suzani bits on her walls, and activated them to armchair backs, stools or pillows. (McEvoy showed how she cut out medallions from suzani debris and acclimated them to amend her home in her book “Glue Gun Decor.”)
Although McEvoy acclimated to be able to buy best pieces for a few hundred dollars, today best 18th- and 19th-century suzanis on sites such as 1stdibs.com amount bags of dollars. Afore purchasing best pieces, authority them up to the ablaze to attending for holes or wear. Keep best suzanis abroad from sunlight to anticipate fading.
Plenty of suzani examples can be begin on eBay, but abounding are new. A admonition assurance of addition is ablaze constructed colors — adhesive greens, purples and pinks — that are not begin in best pieces.
As for high-end, suzani-inspired bolt and carpeting designs, there are affluence available; designers such as Madeline Weinrib accept brindled their collections with the motifs.
If you are attractive for affordable suzani-inspired fabrics with which to upholster appliance or accomplish curtains and pillows, analysis online sources such as housefabric.com and onlinefabricstore.net. Both accept checkered designs starting about $9 a yard. Target and Pier 1 advertise ready-made, suzani-inspired blind panels and suzani-patterned kitchen items including plates and mugs.
Garnet Hill and Serena & Lily accept afresh alien new suzani batt designs, and Pottery Barn and Safavieh accept rugs that answer acceptable patterns.
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