The Ikat pillow covers and fabrics offered by Black Fig Designs reflect centuries of Uzbekistani tradition, and are hand-woven from silk and/or cotton strands dyed vibrant hues from natural plant sources and then integrated into the designs. While ikat is a universal weaving style, Uzbekistan has its own unique version of ikat.
The natural dyes come from a variety of native plants. Since ancient times, plants such as walnuts and tea leaves have provided a broad range of color hues and intensities in dyes that are remarkably durable. Beyond beautifying clothing and household items, these colors carry deeper meanings. Blues from the indigo flower embody the sky; yellows and oranges are distilled from onion skins, saffron, and pomegranates, and represent knowledge; reds from the madder root mean fire and sun; and the green from the usma plant represents spring and youth.
Suzanis are one of the most popular folk arts in Uzbekistan
Suzani not only means “needlework”, but also refers to the large panels covered with this decorative embroidery. These hand-embroidered vintage suzanis are infused with the character that only comes from everyday use. Perhaps created by a bride-to-be to show her devotion to her betrothed and then in lean times bartered away to a traveling Gypsy for money or household necessities pulled from the depths of his donkey cart. The story of each of these suzanis is as rich as their colors, as intricate as the designs that cover their surfaces.
While there is an interesting variety of vintage Uzbek suzanis on the market today, the supply will eventually be running out since the tradition of creating suzanis with hand embroidery is no longer practiced. However we are still fortunate that most suzanis are available at reasonable prices.