Iranian kilims on show at tourism ministry


TEHRAN –A collection of hand-woven kilims has been put on display at the headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts in Tehran.

The week-long exhibit showcases kilims woven by veteran Iranian artisan Mohammad-Qoli Aqai, CHTN reported on Sunday.

Kilim is a pileless floor covering handwoven in most places where pile rugs are made. The term is applied both generally and specifically, with the former use referring to virtually any rug-like fabric that does not have a pile.

When used specifically the term refers to a more limited number of techniques, including slit tapestry, warp sharing, and various forms of interlocking tapestry weave.

The kilims are often woven on narrow looms, and two mirror-image pieces are sewn together along the long edge to produce the completed kilim. The vertical color junctions involve a discontinuity of the wefts, the colored yarns that produce the design. At these boundaries, there are small slits in the fabric. Extremely fine kilims of silk were woven for the Safavid court (1502–1735), possibly in Kashan.

Persian carpets are sought after internationally for their delicate designs and their good quality. Among Persian carpets, particularly those of the classic period, the medallion may represent an open lotus blossom with 16 petals as seen from above, a complex star form, or a quatrefoil with pointed lobes.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next. For instance, Shiraz is named a “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”, Malayer is a global hub for woodcarving and carved-wood furniture, while Zanjan has gained the title of a “world city of filigree.”

In addition, the ancient city of Shiraz has been chosen to host the 39th General Assembly of the World Crafts Council-Asia-Pacific Region (WCC-APR) in May 2023. Shiraz has a remarkable amount of handicraft pioneers. With an average age of 70, some of these pioneers are still active at their workshops. The occupational records of about 100 pioneers are collected and are annually praised by the custodians of the WCC General Office.

Available data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts suggests the value of Iran’s handicrafts exports stood at $120 million during the first eleven months of the Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 20, 2020–February 18, 2021), Mehr reported . The country’s handicrafts exports slumped during the mentioned months in comparison to the same period last a year earlier due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.

The Islamic Republic exported $427 million worth of handicrafts during the first eleven months of the calendar year, 1398. Of the figure, some $190 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the US, the UK, and other countries.

ABU/MG

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