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Expert: Jane Greenoff Jane Greenoff

Embroidery Traditions of Uzbekistan

Situated in the centre of Asia and on the Silk Road, one of the world’s most important historical trading routes linking China to the Mediterranean, Uzbekistan offers a smorgasbord of culture and colour. Embroidery is the most common type of needlework in Uzbekistan, traditionally carried out by girls and women and passed down through the ages from mother to daughter as an oral tradition. As we pass along the route of the silk road, we’ll visit several centres of embroidery including Bukhara, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Tashkent, and the Fergana Valley, each of them using motifs and colour palettes specific to their region. As well as four workshops with Jane, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for some retail therapy too, as we enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of the markets and bazaars throughout our journey.

15 days from £4,099pp Departure Dates

Your Tour Includes

  • 13 nights half-board accommodation, breakfast and dinner included 2 lunches
  • Complementary bottled water during long transfers
  • 4 workshops with Jane, kit included
  • The company and expertise of Jane Greenoff
  • Local English-speaking guide to accompany the tour throughout
  • Services of an Arena Travel Tour Manager
  • Return economy class flight from London (via Istanbul), 1 piece of checked baggage included
Experts
Jane Greenoff

Jane Greenoff

Jane Greenoff is a well-known cross stitch designer, a prolific author and founder of the Cross Stitch Guild. She lives in the Cotswolds where the beautiful local buildings provided inspiration for her earliest designs, which Jane stitched for her own pleasure.

Seeing there was a gap in the market for authentic English designs, Jane started marketing her first commercial kits and an internationally successful business was born. In addition to designing counted patterns, Jane has also collaborated with Ian Lawson-Smith to produce the highly acclaimed ’iStitch2’ cross stitch software. She is the author of twenty three books including ‘The Cross Stitcher’s Bible’, which was translated into ten languages including Chinese and Russian. In January 2017 Jane stepped down as Managing Director for the Cross Stitch Guild but continues as the Guild’s Design Director.


Itinerary

Overview

Meet Jane and Bill Greenoff at London airport for your overnight flight to Tashkent, via Istanbul. Tashkent is the capital and largest city in Uzbekistan.

Overview

We will be met by our local guide and transfer to our hotel. After some time to freshen up, we’ll visit the Applied Art Museum, home to over 7,000 examples of embroidery, skull caps, jewellery and other examples of craftsman-ship from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day. Later this afternoon we’ll enjoy our first workshop with Jane at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Tashkent

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Tashkent Market

Overview

This morning we’ll travel by train to Margilan. Margilan lies in the south of the Fergana Valley, at the crossing of trade caravans from China to the west and vice versa. Residents of Margilan were renowned for their silk goods from west to east as far back as the 10th century. On arrival we’ll enjoy a tour of the city, including: Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah, now home to a number of craftsmen producing handmade carpets and silk. Yodgorlik Silk Factory, where we will see how silk is produced with traditional Ikat patterns Hunarmandchilik MarKazi Craft Centre Dinner and overnight in Margilan.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Margilan Art

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy another workshop with Jane at the hotel. Afternoon at leisure Dinner and overnight in Margilan.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Workshop

Overview

This morning we return to Tashkent, where we’ll continue our city tour, including:

Amir Temur Square; the true heart of the city
- Walk on Sailgoh Street
- Independence Square; the largest square in Tashkent, more like a park than a square, with several monuments and fountains and filled with trees and flowerbeds.
- Prince Romanov’s Former Palace
- Alisher Navoi Theatre; one of the leading centres of performing arts in Central Asia
- Akbar Rahimov’s Pottery School, where we’ll see how the products are made and enjoy tea and oriental sweets. The school began in the mid 20th Century and is now run by the founder’s son and grandson.
Dinner and overnight in Tashkent

Included Highlights

Ark fortress

Overview

Today we travel by train to Samarkand. Samarkand is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. On arrival we’ll enjoy a city tour including: Ragistan Square; the centrepiece of the city. There are three madrassahs framing the square, Madrassah Ulugbek, Madrassah Sher-Dor and Madrassah Tillya-Kori. Happy Bird Handicraft Centre, where we can meet with local artists and shop for souvenirs Bibi Khanym mosque, one of the most important monuments in Samarkand that, in the 15th Century, was one of the largest and most significant mosques in the Islamic world Siyab bazaar, the largest bazaar in Samarkand Dinner and overnight in Samarkand.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Registan Palace

Overview

Our tour of Samarkand continues as we visit: Gur Emir Mausoleum, tomb of Tamerlane, his sons and grandsons Fine Art Museum of Samarkand; housing a fine collection of textiles and pottery Afrosiab Museum; dedicated to the history of the city Shakhi Zinda necropolis; the burial place of royal persons and nobles Aisha Studio, where local couturier Valentina Romanenko will put on a fashion show for us El Merosi theatre of historical costumes Dinner and overnight in Samarkand.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Entrance portal to Gur-e-Amir

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy a paper making masterclass at the Koni Ghil Silk Paper Centre. Followed by another work-shop with Jane. Afternoon at leisure Dinner and overnight in Samarkand.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Paper production

Overview

This morning we’ll travel by road to Gus village and onward to Shakhrisabz. In Gus village we’ll visit the house of Mavlyuda Hamdamova, a well-known suzane embroidery craftswoman, whose works have been exhibited multiple times in exhibitions and competitions throughout Uzbekistan. Here we’ll en-joy an embroidery masterclass and have lunch with the family. Dinner and overnight in Shakhirsabz. The village of Hodja-Ilgar, which lies very close to Shakhirsabz, was the birth-place of national hero Amir Temur and he made the town his royal residence. The town was founded more than 2,700 years ago but most of the important historical landmarks were constructed during Temur’s life, over 600 years ago. Today, Shakhrisabz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site Dinner and overnight in Shakhrisabz

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Shakhrisabz Mosaic dome decoration

Overview

Our guided tour of Shakhrisabz will include: Aksarai Palace, Timur’s Summer Palace Dorus Saodat complex, designed as a mausoleum to the eldest son of Amir Temur, Jakhongir, but later became the family tomb of the Timurid dynasty. Dorut Tilovat complex consisting of a mosque and two mausoleums dating from the 15th Century We’ll also spend some time at the studio of Yulduz Mamadiyorova, a local embroiderer and enjoy another work-shop with Jane whilst we are here. This afternoon we travel by road to Boysun. People of Boysun decorate their homes with colorful suzane embroidery and homespun carpets and decorate their dresses and shoes with fancy ornaments and embroidery. Dinner and overnight in Boysun.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Dorus Saodat

Overview

We’ll spend today exploring Boysun, a village hidden in the stunning Gissar mountain range. Many unique tradi-tions of this Surxondaryo region are still practiced in Boysun, which has been recognised by UNESCO for its cultural value. Embroidery represents one of the most important items of Boysun folk art as it decorates the interior of every traditional house. The bright colours and designs used on Boysun embroideries reflect their understanding of the universe, nature, happiness and love. Dinner and overnight in Boysun. Lunch at a local café is included today.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Boysun art

Overview

This morning we travel by road to Bukhara. Bukhara’s historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On arrival we’ll enjoy a city tour with our local guide, including: Ark fortress: initially built and occupied around 5th Century AD, the ark encompassed a town that was inhabited by the various royal courts that held sway over the surrounding region. The Ark re-mained a fortress until it fell to Russia in 1920 and currently houses museums covering its history Bolo Hauz mosque, built in 1712 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site Ismail Samani mausoleum built in the 10th century the mausoleum is an iconic example of early Is-lamic architecture. It was built as the resting place of the powerful and influential Islamic Samani family dyn-asty that ruled from approximately 900 to 1,000 Chashmai Ayub, meaning Job's well, is named according to the legend in which Job (Ayub) visited this place and made a well by striking the ground with his staff. Magokki Attori mosque, now a carpet museum Herbal tea tasing and fashion show at Retro Saloon Timur Dinner and overnight in Bukhara.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Bukhara

Overview

Bukhara is also a centre for local artisans, and we will be able to watch many of them at work on a variety of handi-crafts at the Bukhara Artisan Development Centre. We’ll also spend the day visiting some colourful local markets, where the Karavan Saray (Trade Domes) and former madrassahs offer splendid colourful handmade Suzani prod-ucts and gold embroidery as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, jewellery, carpets and costumes. Today we’ll also visit: Chor Minor; an historic gatehouse for a now destroyed madrassah Poi Kalyan complex: an Islamic religious complex centred around the Kalan minaret, which domi-nates the historic centre of the city Ulugbeg Madrassah; today the museum of history of the restoration of the architectural monu-ments in Bukhara Silk Market Labi Hauz complex; the area surrounding one of the few remaining hauz (pond) in the city, which served as a source of water. The ponds were notorious for spreading disease and were mostly filled in during the 1920s and 1930s. The Labi Hauz complex survived because it is the centre piece of a magnifi-cent architectural ensemble Bobokul’s studio where the old technology for producing and colouring silk is still used Private embroidery collection at Akbar House Dinner and overnight in Bukhara.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Bukhara Market Gijduvan Silk Colouring

Overview

Our excursion today takes us to Gijduvan. Here we’ll spend some time at the studio of local embroiderer Alisher Nazrullayev, where we’ll take part in a silk colouring and cross stitch workshop. On our way back to Bukhara we’ll visit Sitorai-Mokhi Khosa, the summer palace of the last emir of Bukhara. Here we’ll see his collection of gifts including Chinese porcelain, Russian cut glass and crystal vases, the most rich and interesting collection of local Suzane embroidery as well as his collection of old Bukharan textiles and needlepoint embroidery. This afternoon we’ll have some time for a final workshop with Jane at the hotel. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner and a folk show at Rahmon House, where we’ll see a demonstration of cooking plov, a rice pilaf with meat, carrots, onions, and spices. Overnight in Bukhara.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Time to say farewell to Uzbekistan as we travel to the airport for our return flight.

Includes Breakfast

Single Room Supplement from £540.00 (15 days).

Stitchtopia Craft Holidays

Stitchtopia Craft Holidays

Specially designed for knitters, this Stitchtopia knitting holiday is the ideal opportunity to meet like-minded knitters and indulge in your favourite hobby. Our talented knitting expert will be on hand throughout the holiday and host inspirational workshops with a beautifully designed project to get those needles clicking!

Accommodation

You will be staying at the 4-star Ramada by Wyndham in Tashkent for 2 nights, the 3-star Diyor Hotel in Margilan for 2 nights, the 4-star Royal Hotel in Samarkand for 3 nights, the 3-star Maqom Plaza in Shakhrisabz for 1 night, the 3-star Gaza Hotel in Boysun for 2 nights, and the 3-star Sasha & Son in Bukhara for 3 nights. 

Diyor Hotel

This 3-star hotel is located on the outskirts of central Margilan.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • Hairdryer
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Shower
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
General
  • Restaurant
Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available
Maqom Plaza

Maqom Plaza

This 3-star hotel is ideally located very close to the centre of Shakhrisabz.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Shower and Bath
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
  • Iron or Trouser Press
General
  • Restaurant
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool (Seasonal)
  • Sauna or Steam Room
Service
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Sasha & Son

This 3-star boutique hotel, a former Jewish merchant’s house dating back to the 16th Century, offers a homely atmosphere within just a few minutes’ walk from the heart of Bukhara.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Bath
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
General
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
Service
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Royal Hotel

The Royal Hotel offers an unforgettable stay with warm hospitality and quality service and is ideally located very close to the main attractions in the city.