Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Zari" Persian Silk and Gold Fabric

" ZARI " ( golden ), is an attributive adjective, which is referred to ZAR (gold). It means made of gold. Therefore, ZARI is a type of brocaded fabric with gold weft".

About 1000 B.C. Zari fabrics were woven in the from of two-weft textiles in East of Iran. In SASANID era (early 7th century), Iranians could weave the fabric with high durability and strength by the carefulness in the twisting the silken yarns.

This brocaded textile is the name of a traditional fabric that all its wefts are silver or gold and their warps
are made of silk. Nowadays a large number of these fabrics belonging to the SASANID era ( last dynasty of native rulers to reign in Persia before the Arab conquest in 640 A. C.) exist in royal treasure in Tehran or in famous churches in the Europe and Japan's museums. It is obvious that the king of SASANID donated these precious pieces to the imperial western court. The designs of SASANID era are usually a combination of hunting ground and birds. In regard with the remaining fabric from this age, we can say that the combination of these fabrics reached the ultimate point of artistic creativity, harmony, design and color.

The texture of ZARI was welcomed into the age of Safavid Dynasty (late 15th century). Provinces such as Kashan, Yazd, and Isfahan became major centers for creation of this art. The culmination of this art is seenduring Safavi era in Iran. The motifs and designs of fabrics, like the design of rugs, were drawn before hand. The difference is that the motifs are repeated throughout the fabrics.

This art flourished in the contemporary era. In the year 1929, with the attempt of Master "Hosein Taherzadeh Behzad Tabrizi", the first workshop of ZARI with attendance of "Habiballah Tarighi" began to work in Tehran. This workshop has continued it's work, and a few remaining artists, produce the unique brocades in
limited quantity but high quality.

Here, I am posting few pictures of the complex wooden Zari looms which are set up in a workshop in Tehran by the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. I have also included few photos of Zari fabrics.

Khosrow Sobhe


Unknown said...

Wow, I love the teal rug. The rugs look very ornate yet delicate at the same time. It would be wonderful to see an orginal Zari someday. Awesome blog. I didn't know that these existed, Thanks! RugloverMary

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these photos and for the information on current Zari production! It is exciting to know that this craft is being nurtured. It's a shame that all we hear about Iran in the media is the "bad" stories, with never a kind word or positive news headline.
How much are these textiles worth? Where are they sold (if at all)?
How many textiles might this workshop produce in a year?
Nathan in MI