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Khatam is beside Muarraq one of the finest Persian/Iranian wooden Handicrafts. Persian micro-mosaic Inlay work is called Khatam. Khatam is the Persian marquetry (Persian intarsia), a mosaic-like inlay of contrasting materials such as bone, mother-of-pearl, woods of various colors, metal precisely-cut from gold, silver, brass in geometrical shapes.
Khatamkari is the art of crafting a Khatam. Khatam works with smaller inlaid pieces are generally more highly valued.
The earliest examples of Persian intarsia are found in the ornamentation of the doors of holy places predominantly consists of inlaid motifs. Samples of these can be observed in the Atiq Jami Mosque Of shiraz with an age of over 1000 years old.
In the Safavid era, the art of marquetry flourished in the southern cities of Iran, especially in Isfahan, shiraz and Kerman.
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Designing of inlaid articles is a highly elaborate process. In each cubic centimeter of Persian inlaid work, up to approximately 250 pieces of metal, bone, ivory and wood are laid side by side.
Inlaid articles in the Safavid era took on a special significance as artists created their precious artworks. These works include; doors and windows, mirror frames, Quran boxes, inlaid boxes, pen and penholders, lanterns and inlaid ornamented shrines.
Persian marquetry Inlay work Khatam is made after some steps of cutting and gluing the very delicate layers to each other that all of these steps from the beginning up to the end consists of 400 operational steps.
The Khaatam are glued based on the plan, color, shape, dimensions and the place of application and by making different plans and making similar figures or symmetrical shapes, all the plan surface is adorned by signets which is then prepared by performing some repairs, filing, brushing and under cuttings and finally grinding and straightening of Khatam surface, and then oiling and polishing by some special materials such as sealer and polisher.
The quality of a Khatam depends on its fine drawing and regularity of the plan, all of which are summarized in the skills of head artisian.
Santoori is the representative of many quality Khatam manufacturers who have their own manufacturing unit in Isfahan and shiraz. All items offered by Santoori are picked up and reveal the export suited quality.
Reference : santoori dot com
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