MAA 6-1-05 A, embroidered suzani, central Asia (late 19th century to 20th century)

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Artifact Information

Suzanis are large, embroidered hangings or coverings that originated centuries ago in what is now Uzbekistan and neighboring parts of Central Asia. Typically they were sewn by village girls, using dyed silk threads, and became an important part of the girls’ marriage dowries [1]. This piece of suzani was collected by the Museum of Applied Arts (MAA) in Uzbekistan.The identification of synthetic dyes from the pieces suggested that the suzani was made no earlier than the late 19th century.

The Museum of Applied Arts, Samarkand, Uzbekistan: suzani (6-1-05 A)

Image of the suzani MAA 6-1-05 A. personal courtesy of R.A. Laursen

Summary of results

Image of the threads collected/analyzed. photo by X. Zhang

Multiple threads (equal or shorter than 0.5 cm) were removed from the back of the suzani.

HPLC profile

center|frame|Absorbance at 350nm (mAU), one yellow thread was probably dyed with Metanil analyzed by X. Zhang

Identified compounds

analyzed by X. Zhang [1]


[1] Xian Zhang, Richard Laursen and Svetlana Osipova (2005) "Analysis of dyes in some 19th-century Uzbek suzanis"; Dyes in History and Archaeology To be published.