This antique French chair was a consignment store find that just needed some TLC. The minute I saw this velvet ikat, I knew the two were meant for each other. I have to give major credit to my upholsterer for matching the seams so beautifully. Velvet and silk ikats - being hand-loomed on a "back loom" in Uzbekistan and Turkey are anything but standard! Their width is narrow compared with fabrics bought in the US or Europe. While this can make designing with ikats challenging, the beauty and authenticity is well worth it!!
These French chairs were another "rescue mission". They were upholstered in a mustard yellow velvet that had seen better days. I had always wanted to do something fun and different on the backs of chairs in a dining room. It's the perfect place to add some drama! Though I was hesitant to "cut" up a Suzani, I was comforted by the fact that Suzanis were originally formed from separate panels of embroidered silk. When a daughter was born along the Silk Road, each female family member was given a panel of silk cloth. The women would embroider their panel, and then when the daughter was of marrying age, she would collect the different panels and sew them together and use it as a dowry. Embroidering the Suzani became a means of artistic expression for these women - and a way to communicate with other family members.The seams that are sometimes still visible in Suzanis are actually the "coming together" of different generations of women. Though Suzanis are no longer used as Dowries today, they still serve as a rich link to the past. And they are GORGEOUS as table cloths, runners, pillows, coats - and to upholster dining room chairs!