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Published On : wednesday 15 July 1394
Handicrafts of each region mirror its identity, traditions, customs and aesthetic skills. Being well-illustrated, handicrafts would represent the history of a country. Moreover, investment in handicrafts would trigger economic growth and a higher rate of employment of the local people.
Kashan is a city with a 7000-year-old civilization born in Sialk, a claim which is supported by incontrovertible evidence. Sialk is the most ancient place of human habitation in the Central Iranian Plateau. The traces of this ancient civilization could be chased in the earthen, copper and bronze objects found in this area. Today, these objects decorate a number of famous museums in Iran and other countries.
Kashan, the Cradle of Enamel Tiles
Gold-effect and star-shaped tiles and china dishes which were produced in Kashan's tile-making workshops, especially the one owned by Abootaher and his successors, are unique of their kind.
Generally, Kashanian craftsmen and artists have created and left precious delicate works of decorative art in such various fields as, tileworks, tile design, etching, copperworks as well as velvet, brocade and carpet weaving. The greatest Iranian painters who are globally well-known are all from Kashan, namely Kamal-el Molk, Sani-el Molk and Reza Abbasi.
Kashan, the City of Wovens
The name of Kashan is tightly associated with rosewater, velvet and carpet. According to available travel writings a great number of tourists, who have traveled to Iran and visited Kashan, have complimented the beauty, variety and value of the woven crafts in the city including rugs, carpets and different sorts of fabrics including brocade, silk and velvet.
According to authentic references and documents, in the Seljuk period, when industries underwent significant improvements, the textile industry peaked at prosperity and growth. Simultaneously, Kashan’s velvet, brocade and other fine sorts of fabrics gained such a popularity that raised a lot of interest and even attracted Venetian Marcopolo to this city. Regarding textile industry in Kashan Chardon, the French auhtor, stated:’ Textiles and silk weaving are the grounds on which the wealth and life of Kashanian people are based.’
Despite the rich background and experience in producing over 42 different kinds of fabrics, in the midst of the Qajar period Kashan textile industry not only lost its position in the global market, but also gave its place to imported foreign products which dethroned national products. It all happened due to the current government's failure to support the domestic industries and also colonization by western countries.
On Ordibehesht 23rd, 1377 (April 21st, 1998), coinciding with the International Day of Museums and Cultural Heritage, Kashan Centre for Traditional Arts was inaugurated hoping that it could be a centre for teaching, reviving and preserving those arts. To serve to this purpose, this centre is equipped with 2 silk, 2 ziloo, 2 velvet and 4 brocade-fabric weaving looms as well as a pottery workshop. It is also administered by master craftsmen who are all credentialed by the UNESCO. This center offers free training courses at 3 levels of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Kashanian artists and crafters are grouped in 14 main fields and 50 subfields, which proves the local people’s enthusiasm about traditional arts and handicrafts. It is also noteworthy that kashanian crafters have managed to receive 12 UNESCO Certificates of Authenticity and 3 national trophies for handicrafts, which has given Kashan a higher position compared to many other cities in Iran.
By : Cultural Heritage Office
Source : Cultural Heritage Office
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