Seven-color velvet resuscitated after centuries of neglect

TEHRAN – A sumptuous type of Iranian velvet, which was once on the verge of oblivion, has recently been reproduced by a team of craftsmen and cultural heritage experts.

Experts say that such a seven-color velvet was popular in the Safavid era (1501-1736).

The project was carried out by the Traditional Arts Research Group of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Institute, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

In many museums around the world, masterpieces of Safavid velvet weaving are on display, while there are no samples in Iranian museums, said Ruhollah Dehqani, project manager.

Therefore, a high-quality image of a sample of these fabrics was obtained by contacting foreign museums, he explained.

From image analysis and experimental elimination of texture defects, the weaving method and original texture design was determined, and the first seven-color velor sample after the period Safavid was woven, he added.

However, due to the lack of machines for weaving this type of pile, experts had to modify the available pile machines, he noted.

Despite its difficulty in production, velvet weaving was widely used by the poor and the rich for a variety of purposes, from clothing to decorative items, he said.

He also noted that the velvet fabric is a distinctive feature of Iranian culture and that besides having widespread application throughout Iran and its neighboring countries, it has been exported to many countries around the world. .

Pile is a type of tufted fabric that has an even distribution of chopped strands and a dense file, giving the material a distinct look. According to historians, velvet dates back to the beginning of the Islamic period, when weavers decided to make a valuable fabric suitable for binding the Holy Quran.

For a time, Iranian velvet was used for weaving the clothes of royal families. During the Safavid dynasty, velvet weaving reached its peak. At that time, velvet was used to decorate the imperial court and was considered the main souvenir of Iran by other nations.

When velvet weaving in the Safavid era developed so rapidly, velvet was used in a variety of ways, such as wedding dresses and bedspreads. Velvet was produced at this time in a wide variety of patterns and was mainly given as gifts to kings and courtiers in other countries.

Iranians developed a taste for foreign machine-made textiles during the Qajar era (1789-1925). This led to the decline of Iranian textiles, which also affected the art of weaving.


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