A handicraft, sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft, and applies to a wide range of creative and design activities that are related to making things with one’s hands and skill, including work with textiles, moldable and rigid materials, paper, plant fibers, etc.
Iran, as one of the most ancient civilization of the world, and the land of many tribes so different in culture, lifestyle, and tradition has enjoyed a wide variety of handicrafts during the history. Persian handicrafts, each narrating the stories of the culturally diverse population in different parts of vast Iran, are among the best souvenirs for the tours to Iran.
Iranian weaving are well-known for their antiquity, elegance, durability and variety. The most famous one is Persian carpet. It has been used as the covering for floors for thousands of years in great Persia. Different geometrical shapes, medallions, tendrils, and figures of plants and animals woven with local materials specific Persian gardens; full of flowers and birds. Persian rugs woven by nomads are different in style and design. The most prominent nomad rugs include Gabbed, kilim and Jajim.
Iranian fabric named Ghalamkar is made by hand drawing or printed by the use of patterned wooden stamps. Termeh is another Iranian hand-woven cloth, primarily produced in Yazd. Its weaving is very delicate and time-taking. The most famous of the factories producing traditionally woven termeh is called rezaei termeh. Another kind of Persian weaving embroidery is zardozi. It is making designs using gold and silver threads, pearls and precious stones. Nowadays, copper wires polished by gold or silver, and silk threads are used as well. It also includes Goldozi (embroidery stitches), Baluchi Suzandoi (needlework), Seke dozi (shisha embroidery), Rashti Qollabdzozi (special kind of broderie), and Kermani Pateh duzi (a style of Iranian embroidery).
Persian art of handicrafts go beyond textile weaving. It includes metal works, wood works, pottery, miniature, calligraphy, straw-made products, mosaic and stone.
The beginning of Persian metal work goes back to Luristan bronzes. Iranian Metal work include Minakari (Enamel working) and Ghalamzani (also Qalamzani or Toreutics) wherein metal is decorated with colorful coats, and cared or hammered. Isfahan is well-known for its enamel artworks.
Wood works in Iran comprises Moarragh or Moarraq (an Iranian handicraft made of small pieces of different woods) and wood carving. Khatamkari is another Persia art of marquetry dating back to Safavid period. The artist decorates the wooden surface of the jewelry boxes, chessboards, desks and suchlike with different shapes (generally star shaped) of pieces of wood, bone, metal and sometimes gold, silver, ivory, and brass. Sometimes it is combined with miniature to make a unique work of art.
Iranian khatam kari – Iranian Moarraq
Persian art is not limited to abovementioned and goes to the stone and mosaic. Turquoise inlaying on jewelry or materials such as silver, copper or brass is one of the distinc Iranian handicrafts. The turquoises of Mashad and Nishapur have the most fame with the highest quality.
Pottery and ceramics have a long history in Iran. Pottery dates back to more than around 6-7 thousand years ago in Susa, Tepe Sialk in kashan, Jiroft, and the Burnt City. Kalpuregan Musem in Sistan and Baluchestan province is called the only live ceramic museum; because, its working style has passed from generation to generation over 5 thousand year without any change.
Persian tilework is one of the spectacular Iranian art crafts. In the past, Isfahan and Tabriz were two main centers of Iranian mosaic. Golestan Palace in Tehran
Is another outstanding example of Persian tilework for the tours to Iran.
Miniature rose up in Iran in the 13th century and continues to this day. It is a very detailed usually small painting that requires great skill and proficiency, and an example of modern Persian miniature is Frshchian’s.
Persian calligraphy has several styles. Calliraphic embellishments have had a main role in Iranian pottery, metalwork, and historical buildings. Calligraphy reached its peak in illuminations of Quran, Shahnameh, Divan-e Hafez, and other well-known Iranian literature. Nastaliq is the most popular Persian calligraphy style, known as “Bride of the calligraphy scripts”.
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