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Insight into Indian Textiles

Insight into Indian Textiles

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Suzani Embroidery

Suzanis

Suzanis are large embroidered panels of cloth which originate from Central Asia. The word Suzani comes from the Persian word ‘suzan’ which means needle. Suzanis were originally used in tents and yurts and due to their practical use and hard wear, antique examples are very rare and highly sought after. Suzanis are created by drawing designs onto cotton cloth (sometimes multiple panels stitched together) which is then embroidered with naturally dyed thread. There are huge variations in design but medallion shapes, floral motifs and trailing borders are all very common.
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Our Suzani throws all come from Jaipur where Birdie carefully selects each piece from her trusted source. Our new Suzani panel cushions are stitched from sections of vintage hand-embroidered Samarkand Suzanis from Uzbekistan which are approximately 70 years old.
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Birdie Fortescue Blog | Limited Edition Suzani Throw

Limited Edition Suzani Throw no 63 | £255

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Birdie Fortescue Blog | Limited Edition Suzani Throw

Limited Edition Suzani Throw no 114 | £255

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Khadi

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Limited Edition Khadi Cushions

 

Khadi is an ancient form of hand loomed fabric, usually made from cotton or fine linen. The technique dates back to the Indus civilisation and became extremely popular in the late 17th century when the East India Company were importing thousands of pieces of fabric into Britain each year. As demand grew, mass production increased and the Khadi technique fell into decline. Mahatma Ghandi instigated the resurgence of the Khadi weave, seeing its potential as a way for villages to become independent again through production.

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Khadi Weave Cushion

Limited Edition Khadi Cushion - Indigo Paisley Rectangle | £50

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Birdie Fortescue Blog | Khadi SHE Kantha Cushion

SHE Limited Edition Khadi Cushion - Indigo Embroidered End Panels | £55

 

Kantha 

 

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Kantha Throw

 

Kantha is an ancient Bengali stitching technique dating back to the Buddhist Era when old fabrics and saris were layered together and joined with tiny stitches to create warm wraps and quilts. As block printing and mass production developed in the late 19th century, interest in Kanthas and their labour intensive manufacture dwindled. In the 1940s an arts college was founded which began to work with local tribal women to help them earn in income by producing Kantha shawls and panels. Today interest in Kantha stitch-work is increasing and we have been very proud to work with the SHE Foundation which works with nearly 900 artisans to produce panels of embroidery. The foundation also contributes to health services in small villages and has provided medical support in surgeries, installed water pumps and provided nutritional supplements to villagers.

Birdie sources our Kantha throws in Jaipur and our SHE embroidered panels are sewn into cushions by our artisan makers in Delhi.

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Birdie Fortescue Blog | Kantha Cushion

Limited Edition Silk Geometric Kantha Cushion | £85

Birdie Fortescue Blog | Limited Edition Kantha Throw

Limited Edition Vintage Kantha Throw no 64 | £145

 

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