Iranian handicrafts: Zilou-bafi

March 9, 2022 - 19:0

TEHRAN –Zilou is a beautiful yet simple and humble handwoven traditional floor covering made by desert people in Iran.

Zilou-bafi of Meybod, in the central province of Yazd, is a name widely known throughout Iran. In houses and occasionally Mosques, this floor covering, which resembles klim, is usually seen with square patterns and limited colors.

Zilou is mostly made from cotton yarn, and preparing this yarn is the first of many steps involved in making it. Therefore, this craft is more common in agricultural regions, and the cotton yarn used in Zilou is produced locally.

Arid and hot conditions in the province of Yazd made it an ideal place to produce Zilou people over time. Because they are light and cold, these handwoven floor coverings are used in such areas. In addition, they have beautiful patterns and unique colors. Historical documents also say that the oldest piece of Zilou remains in Jameh Mosque of Meybod.

The Zilou weaving machine looks very much like the looms used to weave carpets. Carpets and klims also share many of the same motifs and patterns as Zilou. However, there are some motifs in the Zilou that can be seen in Iranian architecture as well.

Zilou has two main groups of patterns, geometric and herbal. Diamonds and squares and crosses are known to be dominant in the geometric group. Zilou patterns usually consist of two patterns, Goldani and Mehrabi. There is a third kind of Zilou pattern that is completely unique. On the market, they are usually offered in two colors, one of them being white. Zilou is known for three famous combinations: white and blue, green and beige, and blue and beige. Zilou is used primarily for flooring.

In addition to houses, they are very suitable for mosques due to their simplicity and serenity. Also, Zilou has been used in recent years for bags and cushions, which has resulted in more prosperity for this ancient handicraft from the desert lands of Iran.


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