Wednesday, June 8, 2011

He made my table cloth - Isfahan, Iran

He made my table cloth
Isfahan is well known for its fine craft and watching a traditional artisan at work is an interesting thing to do. I wanted to buy myself something special and light to carry home from Isfahan. In the huge Bazaar-e Bozorg in Imam Square, I found this old man who skillfully made beautiful hand printed table cloth in his workshop. 

I had my eyes on a beautiful hand made table cloth which took the 78 years old Mr. Hassan 5 days to complete it.  The more colors and layers printed on the cotton material the more expensive it gets.  Made from 100% natural materials, the colors are drawn from natural sources. The vibrant pink is extracted from mixing pomegranate and yogurt, while the ocean blue is derived from lapis lazuli rock and the vivid orange is drawn from saffron.  How interesting! 

He priced the merchandise for  40 USD and I did not want to bargain that much for his skill and effort. Anyway, the translator told me that the old man is happy to sell it for  35 USD and I am perfectly contented to pay the price.  He printed his name at the back of the table cloth and the transaction was completed. 

Mr. Hassan's workshop 
The translator explains how the table cloths are made
The old man working on his wooden block
The table cloths he made
I paid him and the deal is sealed
My table cloth
Light, natural and easy to carry
His final seal on the merchandise


  1. Hey, I have a hand printed table runner from Iran (my dad brought back in 1972) Do you know what cleaning instructions to follow (mine has a few stains, but not sure if I can clean it). Found your post very interesting. TY

  2. Please forgive me for being such a snail! I was washing my lovely Iranian table cloth and spotted a stain of turmeric on it. Since the coloring are natural...there's not much we can do and any harsh detergent would further ruin the piece.