This is a fine vest from Afghanistan made with hand-embroidered vintage silk suzani fabric panels and stips pieced on to heavy black velvet, lined with solid blue fabric.The workmanship is impeccable with the silk embroidery threads using the traditional suzani basma stitch, sometimes called Bukhara couching.The inside is finished with a large hidden pocket on the right side and smaller outside pockets on both right and left sides. It measures 24" armpit to armpit and 28" long. Excellent Condition.This item is being offered from a world traveler who specializes in collecting artisan ethnic Central Asian textiles. Look for my other listings for hand made bags, garments, suzani, and fabric from Silk Road countries. I combine ship for the lowest possible cost.MORE ABOUT THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF THE EMBROIDERY ON THIS GARMENT.Women in a village near Nurata making a new Suzani."Flowering Gardens of the Future," HALI: 137, November-December 2004With the basma stitch, long strands are first laid across the fabric surface. Then these are secured with short couching stitches that are normally aligned diagonally. This stitch is especially effective for covering sizeable areas.The appearance can vary in character: some of the stitching is smooth, fine,regular and flat; on other examples, the stitched areas assume an almost three-dimensional character and texture, which shows off the lustrous silks to their full advantage. In any case, this technique makes large, generous, dramatic motifs possible. Sensitive artisans match the scale of the stitching perfectly to the designs in their luxurious pieces."Suzani" means needlework, but to most collectors, the word has a more specific meaning: "suzani" is synonymous with the glorious embroideries of Uzbekistan, in Central Asia. In recent years, we've witnessed a remarkable revival of this old traditional art form.In the nineteenth century, Uzbek women produced fabulous embroidered hangings, bed covers, wrapping cloths, table covers, and prayer mats for their households and their daughters' dowries. As the Soviet Era ended and Westerners became more familiar with the finest old Uzbek pieces, prices for antique examples escalated wildly. A revival of the old forms and techniques was a natural development as new markets opened. Now gorgeous contemporary embroideries decorate not only Uzbek homes, but also grace European and American households, while talented and industrious Uzbek women have a welcome new source of family income. Fortunately, we now have access to beautiful contemporary textiles that are a natural outgrowth of the old traditions--at very reasonable prices.