Khatam kari

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What is khatam kari?

Khatam Kari is one of the most original and beautiful branches of Iranian handicrafts, the construction of which, in addition to the taste and artistic look of the builder, requires time, accuracy, patience and concentration.

According to most experts, antiquities, cultural heritage and handicrafts introduce Shiraz as the birthplace of this art-industry, but due to the interest and attention of the kings of the Safavid dynasty to this art, Isfahan to the center of production and promotion of inlay work and It became the cradle of handicrafts.

However, some still believe that Khatam Shiraz has more elegance and charm than other production areas of these works.

Definition of Khatam kari  in Persian encyclopedia “The art of decorating the surface of objects in a mosaic-like manner, with small triangles.

Khatam’s various designs have always been in the form of regular geometric shapes.

These geometric shapes are patterned by placing small triangles next to each other. Triangles are made of wood, metal and bone.

“The smaller and finer the triangles, the better the inlay. In a Khatam design, at least three triangles are used to make the smallest geometric unit and up to four hundred triangles for the largest.”


In fact, Khatam  is a cover that is obtained by placing a thin layer about one and a half millimeters thick and equilateral pieces of colored wood together with triangular pieces of brass metal and bone.

Khatam making is one of the top arts in Isfahan and its originator and inventor is not known, but its basis and method is very similar to mosaic work, which has a long history not only in Iran but also in the world.


According to Professor Pope, this art is a mosaic of colored wood and bone, which is called Khatamband.

With the difference that in Khatam art, the small pieces of wood, bone and metal are prepared in a long walk and in a perfectly regular way and in the form of geometric shapes, delicately put together and after cutting in layers, with wood glue They are glued on wooden substrates.

Remains of old works such as in palaces and Qur’anic shrines show the antiquity of this art in the city of Isfahan, especially in the Safavid era.