Iranian crafts: Varni-bafi of Ardabil

TEHRAN –Varni-bafi is a traditional and popular art of weaving a floor covering in the province of Ardabil. It is currently practiced in an area called Dasht-e Moghan, located in northwestern Iran.

Varni is a delicate kilim also known as Sumak. Many experts consider Varni which is double-sided, as something between rugs and kilims. It takes a skilled weaver with years of experience to produce a Varni.

Varni is woven using “Pudpichi”. This is a method of making kilims, where extra fine thread is woven into the weft and warp threads. The weft threads are then inserted and then a fine weft is added before being combed together. The extra weft strengthens the connection between the threads and creates a stronger weave.

Kilims of this quality are considered the most durable in the world. Another weave very similar to Varni is the Shirkipich, which is a product of Kerman. The only difference is in the patterns and patterns. Noah’s ark is said to have landed in Azerbaijan, explaining why animal motifs are so popular.

Varni is a hand-woven nomadic art and originates from an ancient tribe known as Shahsavan in the past, according to Visit Iran.

The famous Safavid king, Shah Abbas I (1571-1629) appointed the Shahsavan, who was formed from the amalgamation of fifty tribes into one, after ordering them to settle in the region of Azarbaijan as a defense against the Ottoman Empire. Shahsavan is now known as Ilsavan.

Varani is done more frequently in winter because the nomads have settled in the same place and have time. Both wool and silk are used for the yarn. Hand-spun wool or silk threads are used as wefts, while cotton, wool or silk threads are used as wraps.

Ardabil nomads use Varni to make horse saddlebags and blankets which in terms of style, patterns (birds and animals) and color palettes are some of the best in Iran. A large satchel, which is used to carry the utensils of nomads, is decorated with patterns inspired by prehistoric pottery from this region.

Stretching over a high windswept plateau, Ardabil is well known for its lush natural beauties, welcoming locals, and tradition of silk and carpet trading. It is also home to the Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The province is very cold in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands of people each year. The capital Ardabil is generally considered to be one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.


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