By Laman Ismayilova
Unique, visually inspiring and colorful Azerbaijani embroidery continues to attract art lovers around the world. The history of Azerbaijani embroidery traces its roots back to antiquity.
The simplest ornaments, including straight lines and broken lines, zigzags, dot ornament, circles, triangles, and diamonds can be found on ceramic vessels of the early Bronze Age (3,000 BC).
The embroidered products were distinguished by its richness and variety. Rose, narcissus, pink, poppy, lily, blossoms of fruit trees and leaves of various shapes are among the most popular.
The geometrical embroidery patterns consisted of straight lines and broken lines, zigzags, triangles, quadrangles, six - and octahedral rosettes, diamonds, stars and the symbolical image of the sun.
Nightingale, peacock, pigeon, parrot, hoopoe, sparrow, pheasant, quail, partridge as well as gazelles, turtles, snakes-dragons, and horses were also common.
Azerbaijani people often decorated household utensils with embroidery: pink water vessels, comb cases, cosmetics bottles, jugs and others turned into beautiful art works.
Gold sewing, damask stitch, chain stitch, platelet sewing, etc., were the widespread Azerbaijani embroidery types.
The most ancient of all kinds of embroidery is gold sewing. It was done on closely woven fabrics. The best material for this was one-color velvet in red, claret, violet and green.
Gold embroidery decorated outer women's wear, head wears, household articles, horse harness ornaments and smaller items.
There was even a custom to include things decorated with gold sewing into the bride's dowry.
The basic fabrics for chain stitch were locally made or imported velvet and cloth of red, black and deep blue colors.
This unique pattern was executed by means of bright silk threads on a dark background.
By the way, chain stitch was not exclusively women's craft.
Many men showed their great skill in this kind of applied art. First of all, a craftsman embroidered a contour line of the future drawing and then filled the entire internal field with embroidery.
Chain stitch mainly decorated women's wear, pillows and bedspreads.
Damask stitch was another widely spread used technique of embroidery. It was created by means of silk and woolen threads of soft pastel tones often in combination with gold ones. Damask stitch decocted clothes, wall ornaments, face veils, curtains etc.
Embroidery with pearls and beads, spangle embroidery was particularly popular among Azerbaijani people. Pearls and beads embroidery adorned costumes, household items, etc.
Spangle embroidery is the technique of sewing spangles onto a fabric along the contour of the color silk thread patterns.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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