Lavish gifts: 10 souvenir ideas your family & friends will love

August 29, 2021 - 19:0

TEHRAN - Tired of bringing home the same old magnets and postcards from your trips? On your next trip to Iran, bring home something they’ll (or you’ll) not only love but also be able to make good use of.

Also, many people like to take a little something home with them as a reminder of where they have been. Not to mention, displaying such a memento around the home can be a great conversation starter when you have guests.

Here are 10 great Iranian souvenirs to take home:

Minakari

Minakari is the ancient art of painting natural motifs such as flowers and birds on the surface of metals, mostly copper. It is generally crafted in Isfahan.

Majority of Iranians have a sweet tooth and that is why hundreds of types of sweets are produced in every corner of the country. Over the ages, the art of Minakari has fascinated many famed people including French traveler Jean Chardin and American orientalist Arthur Pope. The prices are diverse, therefore you can either spend a lot or little money on these special pieces of art.

Persian carpets and rugs

Handmade Persian carpets are sought after internationally for their delicate designs and their good quality. They are almost expensive but they are worth every penny.

However, if you can’t or don’t want to spend much money, you can check out some other types of rugs such as Gilim (Kilim) and Gabbeh (Gabba). They are both made of natural handspun wool yarn, and the colors are created by natural plant dye. Unlike carpets, they don’t have any plans, and they’re inspired by daily events so they can’t be copied.

There are some differences between Gabbeh and Gilim. These items are found everywhere in Iran, but the carpets of Tabriz and the rugs made by Bakhtiari and Fars tribes, have higher qualities.

Sweets, nuts, and spices

Majority of Iranians have a sweet tooth and that is why hundreds of types of sweets are produced in every corner of the country. Those who love sweets will be fascinated by Sohan of Qom and Gaz of Isfahan. Besides, Iran is considered to be the center of pistachio production in the world and is the best place for foreign tourists to buy it as a souvenir. Saffron is another famous souvenir of Iran, known as red gold, and is widely used in Iranian foods and pastries. Mashhad is the main city producing saffron in Iran. Rosewater is another great souvenir of Iran that is mainly produced in Kashan.

Khatam

Khatam is the art of putting wooden or bone-made polygons together with special glue. It is a very delicate art and needs many different specialists. The best types of Khatam are the ones with no space between the polygons. The main centers of this art are Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tehran. Objects made of Khatam are mainly practical objects, therefore they can be very useful souvenirs.

Turquoise

Turquoise is one of the Iranian souvenirs, that is not specific to Iran. But you can find one of the best types of Turquoise in Iran because it is solid and hard and is proper for making jewelry.

Turquoise is Iran’s national gemstone and is centered in the city of Neishabour. So if you have a special taste in jewelry, don’t forget to check out the northeast of Iran.

Metalworks

Iranian metalworks are famous around the world. Ghalamzani is one ancient metalwork that has a long history in Iran. It is the art of carving drawings on the surface of metals such as gold, silver, copper, and bronze using a bar and a hammer. Ghalamzani is mostly done on dishes such as vases and big plates. Artists working in this field are mainly in Isfahan, Shiraz, Kerman, Kermanshah, and Tehran. So if you pass through the center, south, east, or west of Iran you will have the chance to see these artists and their art.

Miniature

Miniature is the art of drawing small pictures, which was used to decorate ancient or medieval manuscripts. It is a worldwide art and has been developed in both Europe and Asia according to their different cultures. Therefore you can see Miniature all around the world, but it is different in every country. In Iran, Miniature continued its development as a type of painting and some contemporary artists worked in this field such as the famous painter, Mahmoud Farshchian. There are some shops all around Iran, which sell diverse types of paintings, including Miniature. So it is one of the Iranian souvenirs accessible almost everywhere.

Termeh

Termeh is a cloth that is handmade with silk thread and usually used as a tablecloth. It is expensive because of its quality and special yarn and perfect design. Nowadays Termeh is mainly made with mechanical tools, but the handmade ones are more valuable. The most beautiful pieces of Termeh are found in the city of Yazd.

Ceramics and pottery

Pottery and ceramics are also not specific to Iran, but Persian culture and history of art have specialized this art in Iran. Most Iranian cities have shops that sell pottery and ceramics. The center of this art in Iran is the city of Lalejin in Hamedan, which is known as the center of pottery in the Middle East. So if you want to buy small and cheap pieces of Iranian souvenirs and you care about its Persian look, pottery and ceramics are good choices.

Traditional textile 

Each city in Iran produces its unique type of fabric. It is also observable in the traditional and local costumes of different cities. For example, Qalamzani is a special print technique used in Isfahan to create Iranian patterns on fabrics.  Pateh, which is traditionally practiced by women in Kerman, features abstract patterns on thick woolen fabrics with colored cotton sutures. Termeh comes originally from Yazd and is the art of printing paisley designs on silk fabrics.

AFM

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