Handmade silk double-sided carpets and embroideries. This is a family business unique to Uzbekistan.

 

Textile artisan Shukhrat Pulatov was born into a family of artisans, in a region that’s arguably the center of traditional Uzbek embroidery: Bukhara City. From birth, Pulatov was exposed to this ancient means of artmaking. Pulatov’s grandmothers had learned the craft from their mothers and grandmothers. For centuries, embroidery was a treasured activity for women, but now men are practitioners of the artform as well. Says Pulatov, “The art of embroidery in my family has always been family craft; not only as the main source of income, but also as a way to express our dreams and show our creativity.”

 

Perhaps the most well-known (and beloved) Uzbek textile is the suzani, hand-woven silk and cotton textiles suitable for a variety of uses. The base of Pulatov’s suzanis is hand-woven cotton fabric, adras fabric—a mix of silk and cotton—and pure silk. Onto this, patterns are drawn, and then gone over with meticulously embroidered patterns, whose motifs include colorful floral arrangements and ancient symbolic designs as well.

 

Embroidered fabrics are used decoratively as well as for everyday purposes. Traditional embroidery adorns pillow cases, wall hangings, tablecloths, table runners, and robes, for example. More elaborately adorned textiles have more sacred applications, and are used during birth ceremonies, weddings, and other special events. Truly a master of his craft, Pulatov is recognized both at home and abroad for his intricate and colorful artistic textiles.