Chain stitched suzani

Y’all, here is a suzani from Tajikistan worked entirely in chain stitch. I believe they used a tambour hook, which I introduced yesterday through French and Indian embroidery. It’s a worldwide technique! Thanks again to Dr. Shirazi for so generously sharing her embroidery collection.

Next I’ll show a few detailed photos of the motifs, so y’all can appreciate what a tambour hook can do. I’d hate to work this without one! I think incorporating tambour into my needlework repertoire alongside other needle-based techniques could be really interesting. I also now think the Hmong embroidery with spiral motifs could have been worked with a tambour hook.

This is one of a special series of posts based on the embroidery collection of Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is on “textiles, dress, gender identity discourse, and material culture in the Middle East; the meanings of veiling; rituals and rites of passage as they relate to material culture.” Over the years she has collected a number of examples of embroidery from around the world, and has very kindly allowed me to photograph them for my blog.

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5 Responses to Chain stitched suzani

  1. Kristen says:

    I think this is sooo neat!!! Can I feature this on my blog? Its a blog about International crafts called

  2. debbie says:

    It’s really beautiful, thank you for posting about it. What is interesting to me is seeing the background fabric well enough to realize it is a much more open-weave than I had anticipated. This explains why a tambour hook works so well, rather than needing a more piercing needle to do the stitching. Do you know if this kind of background fabric is typical for the tambour work?

  3. Emily says:

    Little late on the response here, but Hannah this looks a lot like the bedspreads I wanted to get you in Georgia (but couldn’t afford!). The ones I saw where from Uzbekistan, and used a different stitch, but the flower and leaf patterns look very much the same.

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