News ID: 233792
Published: 1135 GMT November 04, 2018

Alasht becomes National City of Jajim Weaving

Alasht becomes National City of Jajim Weaving
Published by

Cultural Heritage Desk

Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization’s (ICHHTO) Council for Strategic Planning gave the title of the National City of Jajim Weaving to Alasht in Mazandaran Province.

Announcing this deputy head of the provincial cultural heritage, handicraft and tourism department for handicraft affairs, Hossein Izadi added Jajim weaving is a traditional craft practiced by the local people in the city since a long time ago, IRNA reported.

He said related proposal has been submitted to the council by the department.

“Use of natural material and dyes in jajims woven by Alasht craftsmen is among the reasons for the move,” he noted.

The official said jajim of Alashat was registered on the National Heritage List several years ago.

He believes that giving the title of the national city for a local craft helps it to be introduced and recognized well throughout the country.

He said effort to register Alasht jajim weaving on the List of UNESCO’s Heritage List is the next step which is expected to be taken by related officials to preserve the craft. 

“If the target is met, UNESCO will provide financial support for the craftsmen involved in jajim weaving activities.

Izadi said that a public jajim weaving workshop, established 15 years ago, is presently operating in Alasht.

He underlined that efforts taken by the provincial handicraft officials, to provide raw materials and weaving equipment, have helped the workshop to employ 40 workers and continue its activities.

He said no figures are available on the number of household jajim weaving workshops operating in the city, adding plan to collect the related information has been placed on the department’s agenda.

He reiterated that a number of handicraft experts are expected to visit the city to help local craftsmen get acquainted with the latest designs of jajim.

Jajims are typically woven in square sizes and are most easily identified by their vertical stripe patterns. They flat woven kilim like carpets that originate from Iran and are woven in horizontal loom. The exact date these ancient cloths were first woven is not entirely known, though it is believed that some of the antique textiles illustrated in fourteenth century Persian paintings may have been jajims. Regardless of the exact year in which these extraordinary cloths were first created, it is clear that the jajim has a very long history and has held an important role in Iran’s artistic past.

The material used to make the jajims was usually wool, and the dyes used for older jajims were all vegetable-based. Sadly the number of antique Persian jajims that are left intact is decreasing rapidly, since it is a common practice to unravel these textiles and use them to repair and restore other rugs and flat woven kilims that may fetch a higher price.

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