Traditional weaving methods are thriving in Uzbekistan. The Fergana valley in Uzbekistan manufactures and exports silk. Uzbek traditional embroidery techniques are in trend as fashion and historical costumes.
One of the fabrics is embroidered with silk threads. It’s called suzani. Another is ikat woven with hand-spun silk yarn. Ikat from Uzbekistan uses a resist dye process whereby the warp yarns (vertical threads) are bound and dyed by hand before being woven with weft yarns (horizontal threads). Printed ikat designs are often worn by Uzbeks themselves, who can’t afford the premium quality imparted by pure silk fabrics.
Gossamer threads unravelled from the cocoon of the silk worm are spun into the finest raw silk yarn, and bundles of silk threads are hand painted and dyed using the relief technique before being woven on hand looms.
Fashion brands have consistently sought Uzbekistan textiles. While both suzani and ikat being important cultural and household items in Uzbekistan, the current trend for sustainability, craft and ethical products has helped spark a revival of Uzbek textiles in international fashion.
Ikat designs are being reinterpreted for their contemporary customers — bloggers, models, globetrotters. The tunics and harem pants reflect the nomadic, caravan lifestyle of bygone Silk Road traders.