Iran is home to a large and wide variety of handicrafts, which usually has driven from ancient dynasties and eras. The reason behind this massive variety of artworks is that Iran is one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. This element, as well as different tribes, cultures, and traditions during this long history, have provided us with a wide range of Persian handicrafts in the 21st century. Let’s take a look at the top 8 handicrafts in Iran.
Persian carpet, also known as Iranian carpet or Persian Rug, is one of the most exquisite Persian handicrafts with a very long history. Since carpets are not as durable as other Persian handicrafts, this fantastic art’s detailed history remains unknown. However, the oldest discovered carpet in the world, known as Pazyryk Carpet, dates back to over 2500 years ago preserved in Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Carpet scholars believe that this handicraft is related to the Achaemenid era. Iranian handmade carpet has various designs and formats and can be a fantastic souvenir from Iran.
Minakari or Enamel is one of the most elegant Iranian arts mostly done in Isfahan. This handicraft comprises miniature painting, coloring, and decorating metal surfaces with about 5,000 years of history. Beautiful designs, bright colors, and unique images make anyone fall in love with this lovely art. The name of this artwork, “Mina,” is driven from another word, “Minou,” which means sky blue or azure color.
Toreutics (Kalam Zani)
Toreutics is a kind of metalworking in which the artists engrave and decorate metal objects, especially gold, silver, copper, brass, and steel, by hammer or burin. This fine artwork’s exact history is not so obvious; however, some believe that it dates back to the nomadic Iranians living before the Achaemenid era in Persia. Nowadays, the central hub of this graceful art is in Isfahan and Naghsh-e-Jahan Square in this city.
Kalamkari is one of the most ancient hands painting art done in different fabrics like cotton and silk. There is no evident history of Kalamkari’s birthplace. However, in the Safavid Era, Isfahan was one of the major capital cities, and during this time, Kalamkari had significant growth. In this period, men’s and women’s clothing was comprised of Kalamkari Fabrics. Isfahan is still the central hub of this art, and you can find many stores in which outstanding artists work on this art.
Khatam is an ancient art of inlaying in Persian style. The innovator of this fine art is unknown; however, it’s said that the handicraft’s cradle is Shiraz since the most ancient Khatam artworks are found in this city. Nevertheless, Khatam moved to Isfahan in the Safavid Era as a popular profession. Some of the most famous Khatam samples can be found in Iran’s historical sites such as the Jameh Mosque of Atigh in Shiraz, Lonban Mosque of Isfahan, and Mirror Hall of Golestan Palace in Tehran.
Termeh is a luxury handwoven Persian handicraft with stunning designs and colors. The first cradle of Termeh was Isfahan, but this art moved to Yazd, and now, this city produces the most beautiful and artistic Termeh in the world with paisley designs. Sangria, Red, Green, Orange, and Black are the primary colors used in this exquisite art.
The Persian miniature is a small painting as book illustrations or as an artwork in impressive albums called Muraqqa, representing a mythological or religious theme. This fine art has grown and flourished in the 13th – 16th centuries. It can be said that Persian miniature is Iran’s painting before the advent of Islam, which merged with Islamic mysticism and thought, and then became a way of divine manifestation. Many exquisite artworks were created during the Abbasid Caliphate era. However, many of these stunning artworks were destroyed because of the Mongol invasion against Iran. Shiraz, Tabriz, Qazvin, and Isfahan are the main hubs of the Persian Miniature.
Tile Working (Kashikari)
Tile Working has played a crucial role in ancient Persian architecture. This outstanding art dates back to 1250 B.C during Elam civilization in which a ziggurat called Chogha Zanbil temple was constructed. Tile Working in Iran mostly flourished between the 16th to 19th centuries. During this time, this artwork became the basis of decoration of many constructions such as mosques, palaces, tombs, etc. When you visit Iran, you will be stunned by this artwork, especially in Esfahan and Shiraz.