WORLD CRAFTS COUNCIL
(WCC AISBL) INTERNATIONAL
Several thousand year history of this land can be looked for in handicrafts of the region in addition to its buildings and monuments, the features that has turned Meybod into one of the valuable cultural- social treasures of this Iran ancient land.
One of the significant features of this city that is at result of its historical background and cultural ancient roots is prevalence of several handicraft fields with motifs and unique features. Some industries such as weaving Zilou, weaving Plas (wollen cloth) weaving carpet, Charkhrisi (spool spinning),pottery, weaving Carbas (weaving canvas) twisting hair, Karbafi and weaving carpet; meanwhile both arts of weaving Zilou and pottery industry are famous from national and even global viewpoint due to their significant characteristics.
Pottery in Meybod indicates its rich history and cultural background. High quality and precision of Meybod ceramic motifs indicate that to achieve such a degree of skill and mastery in the pottery art is not possible except by relaying on the ancient background and history. In Meybod Ancient city, the pottery workshops had been organized and located in the southern region of Meybod in the neighborhood of the pottery houses for many centuries. Now, various workshops of Meybod pottery and ceramics industries have been gathered in Meybod handicrafts industrial zone. And more than 200 potters are working in 50 pottery workshops. Meybod pottery motifs are very diverse, and more than 70 types of them have been identified, including the Khorshidkhanoum (Lady sun), fish, Morghi( poultry), chekered, Shevidi and etc. The design of Khorshidkhanoum (Lady Sun) has won a gold medal at the 1972 Munich exhibition.Nowadays, except the pottery, weaving carpet and Karbafi,prosperity of Meybod other handicrafts are not good and even some of them have been forgotten.
Weaving and textile is one of the ancient and historical arts of Iran and the land of Yazd always has been considered as one of the major centers of this art in Iran. Weaving Zilou along with other local industries of Yazd is considered as one of the brightest signs of weaving art in this region. Many motifs and designs of Zilou and specialized vocabulary of this industry rooted in Meybod residents' culture and literature and represent the merger of this art-industry with elements of Meybod ancient culture. The name of weaving Zilou art is tied up with Maybod historic city, a city that is known by some as the origin of weaving Zilou art and all are agree that this city is known as the most important center of this art- industry in the modern world. Any masterpieces remained from weaving Zilou art are holding the name of Maybod professional masters that indicates the status of the historical situation of this city in Maybod weaving Zilou art and also indicates the effect of Maybod weaving Zilou artists on progression of weaving Zilou art-industry.Although ,Zilou is lest mentioned in the previous texts, but usually anywhere the valuable buildings are propounded, Zilou was also mentioned as its carpet, accordingly we can certainly say that this Iranian fine art-industry was current for many centuries before Islam and it has been used to carpet the houses and religious sites and it was used in most parts of Iran in the early centuries of Islamic and also it was used especially to carpet Iran religious places and it is an issue that has been pointed out frequently in the various logbooks.
Raw material of Zilou
The raw material of Zilou warp and woof is only cotton that previously was obtained from vast fields of cotton in the region and is now provided from other region of country or neighboring countries. Raw materials for dyeing are usually dependent on the plant species, particularly madder, pomegranate skin, walnut shell and etc. that still they are produced and used. In recent years, the Zilou traditional painting workshop has been restarted and is working.
Production system of Zilou
Production of Zilou was based on the fully integrated system and also this system was based on the supply of the raw materials, tools, workplace and human forces (such as weavers, workers, the seller and the buyer). This comprehensive system has been documented in a book titled as:"Forty speeches in Maybod anthropology".
Motifs of Zilou
Zilou has been turned into one of field of Maybod residents' talent and art due to its place in the culture and economy of the region that its result is crystallized in numerous various motifs of Zilou. These motifs are rooted in the beliefs and attitudes of local people, especially their religious beliefs whether before Islam or after Islam. Some examples of these motifs are shown as the follows. Usually Zilou is woven in two colors that its color combination is also determined according to its application (Although, nowadays variety of its colors were added by the innovations), Motifs of Zilou also are very various, which most of them are dependent on the craftsman's skill. Current motifs of Zilou are reached 70 motifs, most of which have local names. Dimensions of Zilou also are woven in different sizes based on its application.
Zilou usually was used as carpet, but today, in addition to carpet role, it has a variety of functional and decorative applications designed for it and various products are produced by it that will be mentioned as the follows.