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Isfahan’s Handicrafts and "Half of the World" Story

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Isfahan's handicrafts are generally classified in 196 different branches, that makes it the Capital of Iranian Handicrafts.

In autumn of 2015, Isfahan was elected as World Craft City by World Craft Council and in the same year, joined UNESCO Creative City Network as the city of Crafts and Folk art.Isfahan province with 196 craft branches is the first rank among the other provinces of Iran (Isfahan’s Cultural heritage, handicraft and Tourism Organization, 2012). City of Esfahan with 103 local and 10 non-local craft branches is the most prominent handicraft center in Isfahan province (Land Use Planning and development document of Isfahan Province, 2012). According to Land Use Planning and development document of Isfahan Province, handicraft branches of Esfahan which enjoy a comparative advantage are as follows:
Enameling, handmade stoneware, marquetry cutting, crafts packaging, paper mache, Termeh weaving, Tash’eir (book ornamentation), pottery, flower drying, traditional leather cover making for books, batik printing on silk, printing on silk, traditional printing, haversack weaving, metal cold shaping, wood inlaying, seven- colored tile making, gold jewelry making, wood inlay box making, handmade plaster fruits, Sokmeh-Doozy (needle lace making), attaching inlaid wood pieces by wire, wood sculpture, shawl weaving, wood lattice work, lattice work (sign making), mother of pearl carving, Persian miniature drawing, sign and sculpture making with gold inlaid steel, turquoise inlaying, Ghameh-Sazi (making a rectangle cube out of wood and so on for marquetry), Gheta’ei (fabric and paper cutting for making collage), Ghavareh-Bori (the art of wood lattice work for making windows and doors), braiding, handmade paper making, Katibeh-Bafi (inscription weaving), making cushion covers, gold inlaying on steel, handmade bag making, embroidery, flower making, stud- making, metal lattice work, bone craft making, leather mosaic, glass mosaic, tile mosaic, stalactite work (Mogharnas), Mamaghan-Doozy (a kind of traditional needlework), mosaic, painting on paper mache, painting on bone, lacquer painting, embossed lacquer painting, Golo- Morgh painting, enamel painting, Persian miniature painting, gold and silver embroidery, embossed painting on wood, craft burnishing, silverwork, copper work, brass work, Daftin-Sazi ( making the iron comb pounding of carpet weft), metal crafts making, Golabatoon-Sazi (making gold threads).

UNESCO Award of Excellence

UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts which granted to craft products is a proper criterion indicates position of Esfahan’s handicrafts in Iran. In terms of number of craft products which has received the UNESCO Award of Excellence, Esfahan is the first rank among the provinces of Iran.

No. of UNESCO Award of Excellence received by Isfahan’s craft products No. of UNESCO Award of Excellence received by Iranian craft products  Year
 2  6  2007
 22  45  2008
 30  65  2010
48 147 2012

 Number of UNESCO Award of Excellence received by Iran and Isfahan’s craft products (ICHHTO, 2013)


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