Every city in Iran has its own version of souvenirs. The most famous souvenirs of Iran which foreign tourists purchase are the artistic handicrafts that have been made with love, passion and great effort of their creators. In case you take a walk in one of the Iranian historical markets, you will encounter hundreds of types of special and unique souvenirs of that region. Below, we have provided a list of the best and most popular souvenirs of Iran. These are the souvenirs that foreign tourists usually purchase while traveling to Iran and take them home as a memento.
Iranian Hand-woven Fabrics
Depending on the city you visit, the quality and reputation of Iranian hand-woven fabrics may vary. For instance, Isfahan Kalamkari fabrics which are characterized by geometric patterns, flowers and plants are some the most famous souvenirs of Iran and a large number of foreigners are their big fans. Pateh fabrics are the souvenirs specific to Kerman. They are decorative hand-woven fabrics made of wool and dyed with natural colors. Termeh is also one of the famous traditional, hand-woven silk fabrics of Yazd on which curved patterns such as paisley and Shah Abbasi flowers in different colors are applied. Termeh is used to manufacture bags, shoes, tablecloths and jewelry bags.
Giveh is a kind of lightweight and durable footwear which is suitable for long-distance walking, especially for men in rural areas and it is used in the summer. It is considered as a handicraft in some regions of Iran including Fars, Isfahan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kermanshah and Zanjan provinces. The entire shoe manufacturing process is manual and it is generally made of carpet fiber and silk yarn and its insole is made of fabric, leather or rubber. The upper crust of Giveh is made by women who use some types of needles (except sewing needles) and bodkin. Foreign tourists also buy these shoes as souvenirs, although their purpose of this purchase is not to wear them; They hang these unique handicrafts on the walls or put them on the shelves to decorate their homes.
Hand-woven Persian Carpets
As we all know, hand-woven Persian carpets and rugs are some of the most popular souvenirs of Iran. The carpets are usually very expensive, so in case you cannot afford the best type of hand-woven Persian carpets, you may buy something smaller and cheaper like a small kilim or a Gabbeh. A kilim is a smooth and pile-free texture made of warp and weft. Contrary to the carpet, the kilim does not have long knots and piles. Gabbeh is made of the same material as the carpet, although it is made smaller in size and with longer piles. It is mainly made by the nomads. Foreign tourists usually purchase the small rugs or carpets to put them easily in their suitcase.
Vitreous enamel is some kind of art with about five thousand years of history and it is considered as one of the most important handicrafts of Iran. It is a combination of fire and soil that is merged with the art of painting and creates beautiful patterns of flowers and birds and so on. The predominant color of this art is azure, although red and green can also be seen therein. Nowadays, the art is primarily done on the copper, but it can also be done on the gold and silver. Gold is the only metal that does not rust when the enamel melts. Therefore, it makes possible to create a design with many details and similarity on the enamel. However, copper and silver enamels do not have the same quality. In Isfahan Bazaar and some other cities of Iran, you may purchase the enameled vases, plates, cups and other decorative accessories. These kinds of handicrafts are also purchased by foreign tourists as the Iranian souvenirs.
Khatam (marquetry) is one of the other famous handicrafts of Iran that has a long history. Khatam is a combination of regular polygons with different number of sides. Different raw materials are used in the manufacturing process and it is considered as a precise and laborious handicraft because its production requires both patience and precision. Different types of wood (ebony, areca, walnut, Corymbia opaca, jujube, bitter orange, acer monspessulanum, Populus alba), types of bones (elephant bone, ivory, camel bone, equine bone), metal wires, seashells and isinglass, etc. are some of the raw materials used by the artists to make jewelry boxes, photo frames, backgammon and pencil case, etc.
Visiting National Museum of Iran indicates the long history of Iranian pottery which dates back to years ago before the Persian Empire. As soon as the visitors leave the museum, many of them ask their guide to take them to a shopping center in order to purchase the pottery urns! Cities such as Lalejin in Hamedan, Meybod and Natanz are the most famous cities in which the pottery industry is very common. So, the pottery is also regarded as one of the other souvenirs of Iran.