Object name

Date made

20th century

Place made


Narrow 20th-century suzani runner with vibrantly coloured flowers, worked in silk threads on cotton.

Content description

A long and narrow suzani in the shape of a runner, made in the 20th century and worked in silk threads on a cotton ground. The suzani has a variety of floral motifs flanking a central stylised sun with sun rays. On all sides is a narrow border, the long ends decorated with colourful six-petalled flowers growing from a sinuous vine and the short ends decorated with leaves also growing from sinuous vines. The embroidery is worked in tambour work, chain stitches, Bokhara couching, and Romanian couching.

While most suzanis are large, this suzani is smaller and was likely made in Central Asia for the tourist market. Suzanis are hand-embroidered panels made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and other Central Asian countries. Suzani comes from the Persian word 'suzan', meaning needle. Suzanis were formerly used in yurts, as protective wrappings for textiles and belongings. They were also used as prayer mats, bed sheets, and seats. Historically, suzanis were made by brides and their mothers and formed part of a dowry. They were presented to the groom on the wedding day, representing the binding together of the two families. The embroidered imagery represents good wishes like luck, health, long life, and fertility.

It is difficult to determine the precise geographical origins of this suzani, given the nomadic nature of Central Asian communities and the lack of accompanying provenance.


width: 104cm
height: 29.5cm




Catalogue number


Other numbers

RSN 2493
© Royal School of Needlework