23 November 2007

Yurdan, suzani, and me

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I recently was asked by friend and blogger Style Court, whether I had ever ordered anything from Yurdan, and if so, whether I had been pleased with the company. The answer to both questions was an enthusiastic "yes!" As soon as I replied with my answer, Beach Bungalow 8 chimed in to say that she, too, had ordered from Yurdan without any success - she never received her order. Well, that just wasn't my experience. Yurdan, an ethnic trading company operating out of Istanbul, Turkey can't afford unhappy customers at this point. Their press has been phenomenal, given that they've been featured in these magazines recently: Domino, 3 times, House and Garden (with a personal shout out from Gwyneth Paltrow), House Beautiful, Woman's Day Magazine, and even USA Today. Why all the fuss about a company based in Turkey? Suzani is why. Suzani, an embroidered fabric handmade in Uzbekistan (don't ask me what the name of their country used to be) is the hottest textile in the decorating industry today. Everyone is clamoring for a suzani and the magazines are hot on the heels of this Major Trend Alert. The Californian decorator Michael S. Smith is really to blame for this hysteria. Forsaking the ubiquitous down-filled duvet at the foot of the bed, he started placing colorful suzanis in its place. It's taken a while for the trend to take off, but boy, has it ever gone crazy now. Which takes us back to Style Court and Yurdan. While Yurdan has gotten the most press as THE place to buy relatively inexpensive suzanis, there are several other trading companies with better and bigger selections.

Of course, the best place to start when ordering a suzani is eBay. Most of the major trading companies have eBay stores and using PayPal gives one some modicum of security when ordering from a company based in a third world country. My advice, if you are looking to buy a suzani or an ikat (another Major Trend Alert textile),would be to stick with eBay, and order from an eBay store like Yurdan, Then, start slow. It took me three or four tries before I actually purchased a suzani I was happy with. Word to the wise: stay clear of the velvet suzanis (no explanation needed - think Elvis). Also, if the background looks shiny in the picture - stay clear of these too. Try to buy new, unless you are willing to shell out $1,000s+ for museum-like quality. Otherwise "antique" means holes, tears, and dirt. But be forewarned, some new suzanis bear pencil and pen marks where the embroiderer went out of line, just as a child would while coloring! Lastly, shop around Yurdan's web site. They sell a large range of exotica.



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Michael S. Smith, single handedly started the suzani craze with bedroom designs such as this one in a New York City apartment. He forever banished the down-filled duvet in favor of the colorful, embroidered suzanis.


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Close-up of a favorite suzani of mine. I'll keep it draped over my wine table during the winter only.


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I bought this piece of kilim upholstered luggage from Yurdan. It's almost too cute to use!


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Yurdan sells lots of kilim upholstered furniture like this ottoman. Pieces like this are reminiscent of the famous George Smith club chair, also upholstered in kilim.

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Another stool from Yurdan.

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Yurdan sells a large range of household goods like vases, plates, glasses, jars and tiles.

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They sell several different kinds of rugs, here - a striped kilim.

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And here, a more traditional kilim. I love to layer kilim and dhurri rugs over seagrass.

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They sell a large range of wool mohair blankets. Mostly striped, these would look great in a boy's bedroom or a country home.

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Of course I would love these shoes with jeans. I ordered the bottom pair, but they are too tight - anyone want them? Free to the first one to speak up, size 9!

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This Yurdan suzani in my bedroom is very muted - which I love. The colors are pink and green and very soft - totally different than the black and pink suzani in my family room.

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A large suzani tote from Yurdan. This would be perfect the beach.

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This is from Antiquarian Textiles, a great Ebay store for suzanis, new and old.

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Another one from Antiquarian Textiles, is at a Buy It Now price of $425.00

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Agvgera, has this suzani for sale in his Ebay store.

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In my guest room, the dreaded "shiny" suzani I warned you about. I wish someone would have warned me!!!

If you have any further questions about suzanis, Yurdan, or eBay, please e-mail me and I'll be glad to help out.

cote de Texas

37 comments:

  1. I have purchased from Yurdan, experience was fine, except I received several mysterious phone calls on my cell from someone in Turkey afterward - whom I couldn't understand.

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  2. Joni-

    I love the muted tones in your suzani at the foot of your bed!

    Also, I am a size 9. If you haven't had any takers!

    Dana

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  3. Dana - email me your address - to mrballbox329@aol.com

    Joni

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  4. Yummy, I want them all! I need to totally re-design my house!

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  5. You are a wealth of information!

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  6. AD 100 Mica Ertegun (MAC II) also favours those iznik patterned plates.

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  7. Yep, me and Mica, two of a kind!!

    Thanks!

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  8. Drooling over the Michael Smith suzani. Thanks for the informative post; your blog is such a great resource for people (meaning me) looking to add some fab details to his or her (my) home. Thanks!

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  9. So glad you did this Joni! Just love the suzanis in your home and wish they'd been featured boldly in the Houston magazine. They really do add a Michael Smith, Alex P. feel :)

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  10. JOni - great post - a wealth of information, as always. I have hunted a bit on line and been a little wary. This helps a ton.

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  11. Thank you so much, for the information, Joni!

    Pat

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  12. Joni, I love the suzani in your bedroom, great subdued colors.
    I never heard of these before, that's why I love your blog. So interesting and informative. I ran to ebay and I'm bidding on a few small suzanis. Wish me luck! Mary

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  13. Mary - is that you??? YOu know I can't spell your last name!!!! Let me know how it comes out.

    JOni

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  14. Thanks for the post Joni! Your house looks fab as always. I wish I could get mine to a point where I think it looks this "finished". A never ending struggle. Beautiful stuff!

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  15. Joni- Aww, too bad my size 9's are too late for those awesome shoes. I just wanted to stop by to thank you for the magazine you sent. Your house is just beautiful. My 14 year old daughter really loves your taste too!

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  16. Great suzanis Joni. Just like you to be so generous with your shoes.

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  17. I LONG for your suzani tablecloth! WOW! What an insanely gorgeous piece!! Good find ;)

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  18. Joni , no you didn't do it . you gave the wonderful address of the ebay's seller . I love their products. I am a fan of Suzani and bought so many from them . Your suzani " tablecloth" is wonderful

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  19. i used to have those shoes! so funny!

    hey, i bought something from yurdan 2 years ago, and have never seen it. they did charge my card though. whenever i call them i get a really annoying answering machine.

    shady.
    i wouldn't back them up, personally.

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  20. oh wait, i just reread...you noted that!

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  21. Joni,
    Hi there. I absolutely love suzanis but have had bad luck on ebay, esp with agyvera, who has routinely said he has not received payment when my account is clearly debited and his sending of stuff very late. I personally think buying suzanis on ebay is a little risky. For exp, I too got one of those shiny suzanis from one of the ebay sellers who told me that it was silk and instead it is polyester.

    I am going to Kyrgystan and Istanbul in Jan and will be buying in large quantity both suzanis and felt work.

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  22. Lovely suzanis, prints, and decor. I do hope that zebra isn't real though!

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  23. The design you have created is really awesome. It has soul and mystery, the light smell of ancient magic. Thank you for that experience.
    If you don't mind, I, from my side, also wish to share my own experience and give you and you readers one more source for handmade uzbek suzanis - www.oriental-creations.com
    Follow directly to the Suzani Embroidery section. I like this source very much and have positive experience of working with them.
    Good luck you all!!!

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  24. The Shoes I love them !!! How can I get them ??
    luvhollyhocks@gmail.com

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  31. I love your suzani wine table cloth. Are you looking to sell it, yet? Please provide an email address. I'd love to discuss.

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  34. I purchased 4 lamps from Yurdan store in Istanbul and every single one of them arrived home broken and unusable. I am now out $1,400! I will never buy breakable items overseas again, no matter how much they assure me that they are properly wrapped and will not be damaged.

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  35. Beautiful suzanis...i have bought some absolutely fantastic suzanis on ebay! never had a problem in anyway, and they have all been very reasonable..around $60 for 5 x 5 ft samarkand, around $150 for a huge beautiful beadspread style piece. The same kind of pieces can be bought around the web for hundreds.

    Shame about he horrible spam here, people are so declasse sometimes!

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  36. Cotedetexas, I am trying to order jewelry from Yurdan (online). Do they accept payment through Paypal? Thank you so much

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  37. Cotedetexas, I am trying to order jewelry from Yurdan (online). Do they accept payment through Paypal? Thank you so much

    ReplyDelete