One of the traditions of Ancient Persia is handicrafts, which are preserved in the culture of the nation and passed on from generation to generation. Today handmade products are highly regarded outside Iran as a unique art. Popular ways of Iranian handicraft are true masterpieces, and each of them has its own history.
Handicrafts in Iran: Galyamzani
Stamping on metal originated in Ancient Persia more than 4000 years ago. For the galyamzani, the masters originally used copper, but now more expensive materials like gold and silver are used. The drawings are so unique and complex that at times the price of the product is formed by the work itself rather than by the expensive material. Masters use traditional patterns, birds, animals, nature, historical events, plots of famous works and other themes for decoration. Both the drawing itself and the motive depend on the master’s imagination and skill.
The process of drawing a picture is quite complex and begins with a coating the surface of the metal with a solution of resin and chalk. With a special tool, the master applies the pattern, after which the pre-applied solution is washed off, the surface is rubbed with coal and polished. After polishing, the picture glitters.
Handicrafts in Iran: Galyamkari
The name galyamkari may refer it to the technique of carving on metal, but the galyamkari is a technique for applying patterns to a fabric. The process is no less complex and interesting.
Galyamkari roots back to ancient China, and in ancient Persia, the galyamkari became popular after the invasion of the Mongols. Painted tablecloths appeared in bazaars, and the Iranians began to create their own painted fabrics. In the epoch of the Safavids printed fabric was used for clothes later painted fabric was used only for interior products.
For galyamkari cotton fabric is used. Patterns are applied on the fabric with a special patch. Before applying the pattern, the fabric is treated in a special solution, which keeps the colors bright for a long time and protects from fading. After drawing the pattern, the fabric is boiled in water, then kept in ice water. The most beautiful products with paintings can be found in Isfahan.
Handicrafts in Iran: Firuze kub
Firuze kub is a relatively new type of handicraft, but it is connected with another story. The word “firuz” means a stone of happiness and is translated as “turquoise”. Iran is considered the birthplace of the best turquoise. According to legend, turquoise is the bone of those who died of love. The stone itself is revered as a symbol of love and passion. The stone in Iran is more expensive than in other countries, but Iranian turquoise is of the best quality.
Firuze kub for hundred years managed to become the most popular handicraft and country’s business card. The best masters create unique items with firuze kub in Isfahan. At Isfahan bazaar, you can find the most beautiful items like vases, plates, trays and jewelry encrusted with turquoise. As a material copper, silver, bronze, nickel, and cupronickel is used.
Handicrafts in Iran: Minakari
Minakari is one of the most ancient arts of applying a multicolored enamel on a metal product. The tradition of the minakari was part of the culture of ancient Persia more than 5000 years ago and to this day it amazes with its luxury. You can learn more about the history of the minakari and the process of applying enamel here.
Handicrafts in Iran: Khatam-kari
Inlay on wood is as ancient and unique as minakari. Khatam reached a peak of popularity in the Safavid era and to this day Iran is considered the best one in the production of khatam-kari. In other eastern countries, the centers for the production of mosaic wood is also found.
Khatam-kari is used to decorate wooden interior details like windows, doors, tables and chairs, caskets, picture frames and other pieces of the interior. Check out the history of Khatam-kari and the process of incrustation here.