of tribes and villagers is woolen and woven as kilim. Its appearance
(except for its image) caused it to be called usually "kilim",
while kilim and sofreh are different and sometimes antithetic.
is a kind of carpet, to be used as floor cover, but sofreh is spread
only at lunch and eating time, later it is left away, not used for
kind of sofreh being voguish until recently, was Calico or printed
sofreh (Qalamkar). It was produced of cotton and was ornamented with
of those sofrehs is almost similar to designs of traditional carpets;
i.e. there is design-full margin around it and some medallion or spiral
arabesque on ground. Ground, like other tribal sofrehs, is design less,
but around margin, some poems are placed in relation with sofreh and
has been in use among rural and medium classes, having a large size.
Though there's no sample of kingly sofrehs remained, but no expression
of its modality may visualize their forms. Tourists, traveling to
Iran in Safavid era, have mentioned about these kingly sofrehs,
specially, Ambassador of Spain in Iran at Kingdom of Shah Abbas the
great, about 17th century, has beckoned to those kingly
sofrehs. To sofrehs, which were spread, while his reception before the
King, with very fine fabric, ornamented with golden brocade over silk
tribal sofreh and eating and dining in tribal and villagers houses are
plain and without formality, sofreh of Kings and riches have been sumptuous
of chief steward was an important task in court of kings. He had the
responsibility of spreading sofreh and entertaining guests and
preparation of delicate foods. Setting sofreh, also had some
formalities, prepared for each sofreh and each service.
of sofreh has been different than those of dining-table. In European
service of dining-table, six or twelve sets of knife, spoon, fork and
plates are used, while sofreh cutlery is limited and also relative to
the host position.
gadgets were set according to the size of sofreh. Preparation of
outfits and high class parties have been possible only for a little
group of rural riches and tribal “Khans”.
Some of the latter persons, in Bakhtiari, Qashqai, Kurd and Shahseven
were so truly rich, that could provide all rural facilities in their
tents or in their marvelous palaces and some of the long-large tribal
sofrehs is a reminding of this truth.
The more we
could remind, rich sofreh and their expensive gadgets, sofreh of most
people, such as villagers, tribesmen and most rural people, were
small, having no ceremonial appliance. They had only one small sofreh,
used for both dining cloth and bread. Bread was their only main food.
They take the word of food as bread and vice versa. Gadgets in this
sofreh is nothing, but one or two earthenware bowl and mug.
fact, that villagers and tribesmen eat their lunch, sitting on the
floor. They spread sofreh in eating time and another sofreh for
preserving bread. It is not known why no hand woven sofreh remained,
specially when we consider that Turkmen, Lor of Lorestan, Khamseh of
Fars, Qashqai and Kurd of West Iran, … all have skill in weaving.
important sofrehs, woven by tribes residing in Iran are:
North West Kurd
Lor of Bakhtiari
Qashqai and Khamseh
Afshar of Kerman
Afshar of Khorasan