Carpet weaving is Yazd’s principal handicraft. In 1996,
there were 65000 carpets weaving looms at work across the
province and some 30,000 weavers were engaged in this old
artistic and economic activity. Five square meters of
carpet is woven by each weaver per year. Carpets are
usually made in 3x4, 2.5x3.5, 2.5x2.5, and 1x1 sizes (in
meter). Other sizes, however, may be woven according to
the client’s order. “Herati”, “Fish”, “Forest
Lord” and “Kermanian” are the main designs of Yazd
Zilu is a kind of light hand-woven carpet, the weaving of
which provides hundreds of families their livelihood. The
provincial Zilu-weaving center is Meibod, in which the
craft has been traced to ancient era. This light carpet
has proven to be one of the most suitable and most
enduring floor coverings, especially in desert areas.
Famous names in this hand-made traditional industry
include: Naftal, Pert Toureh, Zolfak, Rokneddin, small
eight-sided and large eight-sided zilus, Banrumi and Kelid.
The oldest zilu dating back to many centuries ago, is
presently available for visiting in Congregational Mosque
Shar-bafi (light decorated cloth weaving)
The products of this material-weaving industry are
multifarious. Shar weavers use a wooden loom, whose size
varies proportionately with the dimensions of final
material. At first, it is said, housewives began the
industry and maybe it was them who invented the loom.
Later, however, men developed an interest in this light
home-based industry and gradually, shar-baf workshops were
established. The clicking sound of the looms of these
workshops had filled the air of many of Yazd’s winding
Shar loom is made of
two rolls, a number of pedals, a combing device and some
small and larger shafts. With such simple looms, the
talented people of Yazd produce very beautifully designed
materials like Terma, Velvet, a special handkercheif,
bed-covers, prayer mats and blankets.
Earthenware and Ceramics
Pottery is among the oldest and, perhaps, the first
earth-related art of man. It dates back to over 6000 years
B.C. in Iran, and Meibod has since been the center of
pottery in Yazd province. Earthenware are termed
“Kevareh” in local dialect. A large part of the Meibod
earthenware are used inside the province and a part of it
is exported to domestic and foreign markets. Meibod’s
original designs of earthenware and ceramic known as
“bird and fish” and “Khorshid Khanom” (or the sun
lady) are quite famous. Meibod’s pottery and ceramics
are categorized in three types: Simple non-enameled
earthenware, Enameled ware, and tile and ceramic.
Giveh is a light and
very easy-to-wear kind of local shoes, in which a special
material, woven by rural women, is used instead of
leather. A giveh’s sole, of course, is made of a very
durable material. Usually, rural women weave the outer
part of the giveh in their leisure time, employing very
simple tools. The sole is made by men. Presently, giveh
weaving is pursued as a small home-based industry in
places such as Taft, Mehriz, Nir, Khunza, Baqdad Abad and
blacksmiths still continue to make gadgets such as scales,
sugar cube cutters, knives, chains, pincers and locks by
using simple tools such as a hand-blower, a nipper, and a
hammer. Mehriz, Aqda,Nadoushan, Sakhvid, Ardakan and
Khezrabad are centers of traditional ironworks.
This craft has a 700 years history behind it in Yazd
province. The artists at first decide on the shape and
size of the tiles and then proceed with drawing (upon
them) and enameling before baking the tiles.
Yazd tiles include: Kamak, Shabakeh (network), Hexagon,
Marginal, Akmond, Jouk and Seven-color tile.
Serishom-making (traditional paste)
Serishom is a paste made of animal fat. To make it, animal
skin, bones and fat are placed in a special pot and cooked
into a thick liquid. The liquid is later spread on special
surfaces in order to dry up for packing. To use it, the
serishom bar is soaked in water top produce a very strong
adhesive paste, which is mainly used in inlaid works.
Mehriz has been a
traditional center for Serishom-making.
Engraving (carving beautiful designs on wares and frames
with very fine and tiny hammers), glassworks, weaving
floor mats and other kinds of mats, leatherworks, and hair
spinning and felt works are other handicrafts and small
traditional industries Yazd.
Yazd’s handicraft products maybe purchased in Khan
Bazaar Complex, Handicraft Industries Center’s Store and
privately owned local stores production sites.
Yazd is also famous for its very tasty sweets, which may,
at first, taste a bit too sweet to non-Iranians, as they
are so very sweet indeed! Baqlava (an oily nuts sweet
usually cut in diamond shapes), Lows-Bidmeshk (Musk-willow
scented lozenges), Lowz-Pesteh (pistachio lozenges),
Lowz-Nargil (coconut lozenges), Qottab and Pashmak (cotton
candy), sweet rice breab, almond cookies, etc. are popular
sweets of Yazd. Also, Yazd’s Sohan (a special flour and
nuts sweet) and its traditionally extraced herbal waters
are quite famous across the country.