Iranian handicrafts: traditional bookbinding

June 8, 2021 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Bookbinding, the joining together of several leaves or folios within covers to form a codex or book, is one of the traditional crafts long been practiced across the Iranian Plateau.

For Iranians, books have been of great importance and were highly regarded from ancient times. That is why the nation has used every possible way to beautifully decorate and protect them.

Since ancient times, a beautiful and exquisite cover has represented the high value of the text of the book and encouraged and excited the reader.

The artist binders did limit themselves only to high-quality leather covers, but they elevated their art to decorate these books. There is a book in the British Museum that, according to the specialists of the museum, about half a million hand-drawn separated painting has been drawn on its cover, according to Visit Iran.

During the rule of Shah Rukh of Timurid, the art of making book covers flourished, especially in Herat. Iranian book covers from this era exceeded the European products from Medieval. During the rule of Naser al-Din Shah of Qajar, the oil method or “Laki”(lacquered cover) became a very common method of bookbinding and by his order, the “Majma ol Sanaye” institute was established in Tehran.

According to historians, many covers were found from the private library and have been moved to the royal library later. Among the book covers of the Naser al-Din Shah, there are pieces of leather or fabric, mostly velvet, which have been created using foreign methods.