Embroidered patterns such as triangles, zigzags, hands, eyes and horns have tremendous power. The force of a pattern is strengthened by repeating it, and by adding tassels. For Eastern European countries formerly under Ottoman rule, unfinished patterns are especially powerful. They symbolize the continuity of life. The triangle's sharp corners have the power to ward off evil. In many religions including Christianity, the triangle symbolizes the trinity. Red represents the blood of life and of death and is the most powerful and exhilarating of all colours. Red threads are associated with spirit worship, marriage, and secret powers.
I gave each of our adult children one of these amulets for Christmas. For protection yes, but also for beauty. Tassels hung on wrapped cords confuse and entrap the evil eye. White beads that finish their edges are typical of Uzbek embroidery. I'm not sure, but I believe that these small hangings were used at thresholds, or on walls across from the quilts, or between the piled quilts. I hang mine in my window. So cold here today. The ice came in.
I'm grateful to Sheila Paine who writes about ilgitsh such as these in her books about world textiles. These ones were purchased from the Textile Museum of Canada.