Details of the Sufi embroidered boxes

Here are some close-ups of the Sufi embroidered boxes that I’ve been making during the past year (see my previous post for why I’ve been doing this!).

This is my favourite colourway of all the boxes I’ve made, so I’ve assumed other people would agree with me, and made several like this 🙂

The boxes are just right for storing prayer beads in – they measure about two inches by three and a half, by two inches high.

This is an Arabic calligraphy box, showing the phrase ‘Subhan Allah’, which means ‘All glory be to God’.

This one shows the phrase ‘Allaho Akbar’, which means ‘God is greater than all things’. This one was lovely to do, but took ages, as the stitches around the curves had to be placed very carefully, or the design lost the flowing lines. It was done in stem stitch rows, mostly, with one strand of a Stef Francis variegated silk thread. The box measures just over three inches in diameter.

And this one is stitched on duck egg blue Dupion silk, with a pale pink heart and feathers in silver thread, inspired by my friend Lindsay, who just loves all things pink!

This is the whole collection of boxes I’ve stitched:


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5 thoughts on “Details of the Sufi embroidered boxes”

  1. These boxes are absolutely, stunningly beautiful! The colours are gloriously, luxuriously rich, and the Arabic script is truly awe-inspiring. I cannot even begin to imagine how long it took to make the beautiful ‘allaho Akbar’ scripted one. I suppose, though, that creating something so beautiful is a meditation in itself. How long have you been making these boxes, and how long have you been a Sufi, yourself? I know a little bit about Sufism, but want to learn more – especially the mysticism, the music and of course, the meditative devotional dancing.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pieces with us.

    1. Thanks June! The Allaho Akbar box took about two days of stitching to complete, including transferring the design onto fabric first (using the tissue paper method). I do meditate on the phrase I’m stitching, as I embroider, so I ‘breathe with’ each Arabic script one as I stitch it, and with the ‘heart and wings’ designs, I breathe with the Sufi phrase ‘toward the One’.

      I started making the boxes last summer, just after I returned from last year’s summer school in Germany, when I decided I’d make some to take to this year’s school. I’ve been an initiated Sufi for two years, and interested in Sufism and Dances of Universal Peace for a year before that. The dancing is wonderful, and, for me, the best way to get in touch with the Divine. As I’m in the UK, the best place to find out more about the dancing side of it would be , and for the Sufi side, try looking at for information about the spiritual path of Sufism (this is an American site). Also, have a look at, to see the Aramaic Christian work of Neil Douglas-Klotz.

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