Monday, 09 March, 2020

Isfahan, Tabriz Registered as ‘World Crafts City’

The Iranian cities of Isfahan and Tabriz were inscribed as ‘World Crafts City’.

According to the reports, the ancient cities of Isfahan and Tabriz were accredited with the title ‘World Crafts City’ by the World Crafts Council (WCC).

At the last joint meeting of the World Crafts Council, the overwhelming majority of WCC’s heads in the regions of North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific voted to add the two cities to a list of World Crafts Cities.

Delegates from World Crafts Council had visited Isfahan and Tabriz in June and July 2015.

Isfahan and Tabriz are the only cities in Iran to be conferred the title for ‘World Crafts City’ since the inception of the WCC in 1964.

WCC’s Evaluation Committee Visit to Isfahan

The WCC’s Evaluation Committee travelled to Isfahan on June 11, 2015, where they were received by Deputy President of Iran Cultural, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) in the province of Isfahan and other experts and dignitaries.

The committee visited the famous 16th C. Maidan established by Shah Abbas (the Safavid), known at present as Maidan Khumaini, the core of all Isfahan crafts and antiques, the Jurors visited a private metal workshop.  The Jurors met the owners and the craftspersons where they witnessed the process of production with the minutest techniques.

In the Maidan, a huge number of workshops and galleries of artisans gather together.  Craftspeople in the city are specialized in different crafts such as silverware, enameled metal, ceramics, carpet and textile weaving, etc.  Moreover, there is in the Maidan, a large bazaar of hundreds of shops selling Iranian handicrafts.

Much has been written and said on the city of Isfahan, which enjoys a long deep-rooted history.  Being connected with cities on the famous silk road, gave an opportunity to Iranian good, like textiles, carpets, etc., to have an active presence in overseas markets.  Since then, it has set up a number of workshops and has become a center of multiple crafts being practiced for generations, such as miniature arts, metal engraving, marquetry, wood engraving, enamel, brocade weaving, and carpets etc.  The glory of the city has not faded until today.

The city is full of museums and architectural monuments embodying marvellous crafts like ceramic, glass, metal and wood works.

WCC’s Evaluation Committee Visit to Tabriz

The WCC’s Evaluation Committee also visited Tabriz on July 1-3, 2015.  The committee visited the weaving workshops and units producing carpets, and saw both men and women engaged in the weaving of excellent carpets. They saw the different weaving techniques in these workshops, including the different kinds of knots such as Sumak, Turk or Giurd knots, etc.  As well, the Jurors saw different sizes ranging from a small tableau of 40 x 50 cm to 20-30 meters, all woven in beautiful colors ranging from 100-350 shades, and executed within 2 to 4 years, or more.

The Jurors paid a visit to Tabriz’ Roofed Bazaar, which is the largest covered market in the world.  It has a huge separate section for carpets.

Tabriz also has a City Museum showcasing not only carpets, but also other crafts practised in Tabriz. A new Carpet Museum is under construction and will be finished within 2 years from to date. It is built exclusively to showcase the history and variety of carpets being produced in Tabriz and other centers in Iran.

Tabriz was the capital of the Iranian territory in earlier times, and is now the capital of East Azerbaijan Province.  Dating back to 4500 years, Tabriz is considered as the cradle of culture, art, science and civilization dating back to over 4,500 years.

By virtue of its location right on the Silk Road, Tabriz has been exposed to different cultures and over a period of time, has emerged as a meeting point of East and West.  Tabriz is also home to various other crafts, as well.  Carpet weaving is the mainstay of the people of Tabriz.

There are more than 100,000 carpet weavers in Tabriz, who are supported by another 200,000 people engaged in peripheral activities aiding carpet making.

Tabriz is the most important and biggest carpet producing city of Iran and the world, playing an important role in the development and creativity of traditional arts and carpets.

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