Suzanis usually have a cotton and/or silk fabric base, which is embroidered in silk or cotton thread. Chain, satin, and buttonhole stitches are the primary stitches used.There is also extensive use of couching, in which decorative thread laid on the fabric as a raised line is stitched in place with a second thread. Suzanis are often made in two or more pieces, that are then stitched together.
Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers (especially tulips, cartanations, and irises), leaves and vines, fruits (especially pomegranates), and occasional fish and birds.
The oldest surviving suzanis are from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but it seems likely that they were in use long before that. Suzanis were traditionally made by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry, and were presented to the groom on the wedding day. Someone in the family draws the designs on the fabric which would be embroided.