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 Marivan  (Iran) 

Marivan, as one of Kurdistan province’s arts and crafts heartlands, has always been of appeal to tourists. Marivan also enjoys a flourishing economy, owing to its borders with Iraq, providing excellent trade and business opportunities specially during the last decade. A significant portion of Marivan county residents dwell in rural areas and along with agriculture and livestock husbandry, they maintain traditional arts and crafts activities with such unbridled enthusiasm and arts and crafts play a pivotal role in Marivan people’s life and culture. It is noteworthy that modern industries failure in commandeering Marivan economic landscape, unlike elsewhere in Iran, has contributed much to preservation of high quality crafts in Marivan, exquisitely capable of worldwide recognition.

Marivan's City for Klash (Footwear) Stitching2
Marivan's City for Klash (Footwear) Stitching1
Marivan's City for Klash (Footwear) Stitching3

Marivan people’s diligence has enabled them to bring about a great deal of diversity in handicrafts, fueled with their artisan creativity and intact innovation, inspired by the beautiful natural resources and landscapes surrounding them. We are aware of once lingering dispute going on between Art Nouveau artists and followers of form follows function notion. Nowadays when you look at Dieter Rams’ designs for Braun during 50s and 60s, they are still functionally beautiful-away from any ornaments and getting right into the function. While we also adore Philippe Stark’s dysfunctional but extremely beautiful Salif Juice, because we, besides something working, do need something to touch us in the bottom of heart. And in an era when sustainable development matters most to us, in order to sustain our very existence on this beautiful planet, some tradition and crafting techniques which have sustained all the way from long ago to the present time, narrate a magical remedy. For instance handicrafts made in Marivan are not just ornamental objects, something to be purchased by tourists as a souvenir, but they are functional too. Every single handmade craft in Marivan has a functional raison d’être which makes it an admirable blend of aesthetic and functional specifications. Inspired by nature and used, and sometimes reused or repurposed, out of natural resources, handicraft items in Marivan present an exquisite example of sustainable production. This is why crafts such as splint basketry (arghavan-bafi), klash-Stitching, felting, traditional weaving, wood arts, Kurdish crochet, traditional costumes, rugs and kilim, are still practiced by local people in Marivan, allowing numerous rural men and women making livelihood on crafting professions, while preserving their ancient traditions4- Craft (Klash- weaving) Position Respecting World City TitleThe “Klash” is a local shoes woven with natural materials from cotton yarn and fabric by Marivan women and men. Klash is crafted in various sizes and forms for people at any age and its usage in Marivan people’s life is omnipresent. While industrially produced shoes are now available for both urbanites and rustics, but Marivani people still prefer wearing klash and this hand-stitched traditional craft rather dominates the region’s footwear market. Even in traditional ceremonies such as Pir Shalyar, wearing klash is necessary. Also many local feasts and ceremonials include Kurdish dance, a continuum of rhythmic moves which are only hit off by klash. It is noteworthy that all klash parts, including cotton yarns, natural fabric, cowhide and sprouts are processed and supplied in the local region. However since increasing klash production due to higher demands on export, in the present time approximately 10% of the aforesaid raw materials are imported from outside Marivan (trans-provinicial suppliers).3particularly in the sole. Klash is produced either in artisan workshops or individually at home. Its production consists of two phases: producing the upper and producing the sole. Klash upper is produced by yarns interlocked mostly by local women in domestic traditional workshops. Production processes for the upper part include several stitching phases. Sole has a relatively longer production process and is mostly stitched by male artisans in local workshops compressing natural fabrics, in white, red and blue colors, and stitching them using welts made of beef tripe. They also join the rigid parts of heel and toe-cap to the upper and then stitch them all together to the sole by means of yarns from local goat hair.Formatively speaking klash is a completely local product with unique traditional design. Klash pairs seemingly look like giveh, both in appearance and fabrication, with no difference between right and left shoes. Interestingly Marivan city artisans have appealed to ergonomics, in collaboration with ergonomists and skillful product designers, in order to upgrade the traditional structure of klash and bring forth handicraft shoes that best match human physiological needs. This is a groundbreaking human-centered design approach in traditional footwear.Out of 2635 active craftsmen and artisans in Marivan, 1450 are under special insurance coverage. They are, among other provisions, also provided by free pavilions in national and international exhibitions and fairs.Artisans and craftsmen working in klash-stitching sector in Marivan comprise 2635 producing final klash, 1823 involved in klash upper production, mostly handmade by female artisans in domestic workshops, 812 working on klash sole in traditional workshops, mostly carried out by male artisans. 69% of klash-makers work domestically at home and 31% work in traditional workshops.

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