This suzani was probably used as a covering for a small bed or a canopy. The piece is made from five strips of cotton fabric stitched together. It is backed with ikat fabric in light brown shades.
The large red roundels are characteristic of the sun-disc motif, a central feature in. This suzani has four vertical rows of five roundels, each surrounded by yellow interlocking flames. Meandering around the circles is a scrolling vine, which could be inspired by a leguminous or other plant indigenous to the area. It is enclosed by a narrow border with pomegranate flowers.
Suzanis were traditionally embroidered by women of the family for a girl’s dowry. The extraordinary beauty and brightness of the suzani was said to reflect a mother’s aspirations for her daughter’s future. All girls were taught to sew from an early age, and her suzanis were proof of her needlework skills and marriageability, and a demonstration of her economic value to her husband’s family. These dowry textiles were considered to have magical properties related to protection, fertility, and the birth of sons. Their presence at weddings, as bridal canopies, and marriage bed-sheets, was prominent and each stitch represented the bride’s hopes and dreams of her happiness.
Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection.
Textiles and Costumes of India
Cotton embroidered with silk thread
19th Century CE
Uzbekistan, probably Samarkand or around Tashkent
224 x 171 cm