Iranian handicrafts: Haft-Rang tiles

November 20, 2021 - 22:30

TEHRAN – The term Haft-Rang (seven-colored) tiles was first used by a royal historian of Ilkhanate to describe the technic of painting on glaze, which is still practiced today.

The number seven however does not refer to the exact number of colors, because in this technic it is the composition and relation of colors that matters the most.

Today, Haft-Rang tiles are mainly made in 15x15 cm in seven colors: blue, turquoise, red, yellow, fawn, black, and white. This technic prevents the colors to be mixed into each other because they are separated by lines of a special kind of ink with oil and magnesium components.

Haft-Rang tile reached its perfection in Shiraz. Haft Rang tiles of Shiraz differ from other cities in quality and chemical components of its glaze, according to Visit Iran.

Another difference is that the motif of “Gol o Morgh” (flowers and birds) is more used in Shiraz. Colors such as light green, pink, yellow, and white are more common in Shiraz, and among these colors pink is used more impressively.

One of the best examples of using Haft-Rang tiles is Nassir ol-Molk mosque that is also called the Pink Mosque. Other architectures of Shiraz that have benefited from Haft Rang tiles are the Vakil mosque, Narenjestan mansion, and Afif Abad Garden.

Moreover, a top example of Haft-Rang tiles can be found in the UNESCO-registered Golestan Palace in downtown Tehran.

Arrays of intricate tilework can be found in ornaments of many architectures and especially mosques, shrines, palaces, and mansions across the country. Experts believe the beginning of tile-work is traced back to the Achaemenid era (c. 550-330).


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