Over the centuries, arts and crafts here took on a specific calibre and regional styles emerged. The famous velvet bahmal ikats of Bukhara for instance, or the elegant woodcarving from Samarkand. Local traditions developed in harmony with the local environment so the fine, pure clays found around Rishtan gave birth to the celebrated ceramics here while the royal courts in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva inspired the production of sumptuous gold-thread pieces of embroidery.

A perfect blend of the aesthetic and the practical meant that every aspect of daily life was imbued with a mystical beauty, from the delicate cup you sip aromatic tea from to the lush carpets and blankets to stave off the cold nights, even the shoes on your feet – everything was crafted with the utmost skill and taste.

Today, many of these ancient traditions are being revived. Thanks to the creative endeavours of modern craftspeople, we too can marvel at the wonders of this ancient civilisation. And even bring a little bit of Silk Road magic into our own homes.



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