Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) said the country, as one of the three global handicrafts hubs, holds world’s first rank in many handicrafts such as carpet-weaving, woodcarving, and wood inlaying.
“One of the main economic programs in the Government of Prudence and Hope (President Hassan Rouhani’s administration) is to pay especial attention to the provinces with high tourism capacities and with historical background so that we can enhance the production of handicrafts and bring more currency (into the country),” said Masoud Soltanifar in Shahrekord, the capital city of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province.
Soltanifar, who is also the vice president, said among the 460 known types of handicrafts throughout the world, 160 branches of handicrafts are practiced in Iran.
The vice president added that it was necessary to provide the ground for boosting handicrafts sector in the country, calling it Iran’s historical and cultural identity.
Iran has a long tradition of producing artisanal goods including Persian carpets, ceramics, copperware, brassware, glass, leather goods, textiles and wooden artifacts including wood inlaying (an art which consists of carving on inlaid pieces of wood and creating embossed designs on them). The country’s carpet-weaving tradition dates from pre-Islamic times and remains an important industry contributing substantial amounts to rural incomes.
An estimated 1.2 million weavers in Iran produce carpets for domestic and international export markets. More than $500 million worth of Iranian hand-woven carpets are exported each year, accounting for some 30% of the world market.