Suzani, Uzbekistan, see Selvedge Issue 12
The Selvedge calendar 2020 is now available. An ideal Christmas gift for textile lovers, the calendar features a different textile or technique every month, inspired by the Selvedge archive. July, August and September feature, in order; Egyptian tents, Suzanis and Chintz.
Suzani are usually made by first drawing a pattern onto cotton, which is then embroidered on a narrow portable loom. Just four stitches, tambour, basma, chain and kanda-khayol, are used to create patterns featuring flowers and fruit. Issue 12 looks at The Shangri La Suzani Research Project, which has analysed 15 suzanis and nine related textiles from the Doris Duke collection. The project seeks to document this group of suzani and gain a new understanding of these materials through visual examination, narrative descriptions, macro and micro-photographic documentation, and analysis of weave structure, yarn preparation, and stitches.
Tent hangings, Egypt, see Selvedge Issue 65.
The Tentmakers of Cairo, Hosam Al Farouk and Tarek Al Safety, sustain a spectacular aspect of Egypt’s living heritage. Their ancestors made the majestic travelling tents of the Ottoman Empire, and today they produce intricate appliquéd textiles that are unique to Egypt. Issue 65 points to a documentary about their work by Kim Beamish. Titled Tentmakers of Cairo, the film was made following 18 days of political unrest in early 2011. Hosam, his brother Ekramy, and stitchers Hany and Tarek find themselves thrown into an unknown and unpredictable world as President Mubarak’s 40-year rule ends. Despite the upheaval, Beamish captures the way “the Tentmaker's shops opens out onto the street like a cocoon of colour bursting in contradiction to the dust and dirt of the street”.
Chintz, India, see Selvedge Issue 24.
Chintz, a crisp calico cloth originating in India, is known for its elaborate floral patterns. Originally, chintz designs were hand-painted but block-printed designs were introduced in the 18th century for the European market.
Visit www.selvedge.org to buy a calendar, your purchase includes 15% off the back issues featured, using code CALENDAR.