PENNELL, Suzanne (2015)

PENNELL, Suzanne (2015). The Art of Gold Embroidery in Uzbekistan, Brisbane: StoryBridge Press. ISBN: 9780992303730, softback, b/w illustrations, bibliography, glossary, list of relevant museums. no index. Price: US$: c. 25.00.

A revised version of an MA thesis submitted as part of a research degree of Master of Arts in the School of Anthropology, Archaeology and Sociology at James Cook University of North Queensland. The original thesis was submitted in 2000 and this is a second and revised version (2015). Some advertisements for this book state it is in full colour, but it is not. There are only b/w illustrations. The book is divided into six chapters with two appendices. The text look as the (1) cultural, historical and religious context of zardozi (metal thread embroidery), (2) relevant materials, tools and techniques, including how the production of commercial/professional embroidery was organised. These chapters are followed by (3) one concerning the use of zardozi during the khanates (c. 1800-1865), and (4) then under the Russians (both the Tsars and Communists) in the latter half of the 19th century and the 20th century. There is then a chapter (5) about contemporary gold embroidery practices in Uzbekistan. The last chapter (6) is basically a summary and conclusion concerning the role of zardozi within Uzbek society and culture for the last two hundred years.

Recommendations: As can be expected from an MA thesis the tone of the book is academic with numerous footnotes and explanations. It provides a detailed description of the history and role of professional gold thread embroidery in Uzbekistan and should be included in any library that deals with Central Asian textiles, and embroidery in particular.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, November 2017

Search in the TRC website

TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment. Holidays: until 11 August

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59, Stichting Textile Research Centre

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

TRC Gallery exhibition: 5 Sept. -19 Dec. 2019: Socks&Stockings

facebook 2015 logo detail




The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre.
Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
Financial donations to the TRC can also be made via Paypal: 

Subscribe to the TRC Newsletter