Introduction of Termeh
Termeh is known as a precious fabric with traditional colorful designs. A lot of people with different social levels consider it as a kind of fabulous piece of art for their personal usage or as a gift to others, especially the newly-married couples, because they believe that it brings luck and happiness.
This fabric is made of natural silk or wool fiber which is whitened and colored in order to be used as soft threads used in producing Termeh. This fabric is usually woven by a four-way foundation where weft threads are dense enough and move freely at the back of fabric
lthough some believe that the origin of Termeh is the heart of Central Asia and Kashmir highlands, some other believe that weaving Termeh has originated in Iran and then found its way to Kashmir.
However, weaving Termeh was developed and became popular in the early Safavid period in Isfahan, and its excelling evolution took place in the reign of Shah Abbas Safavid and became one of the Iranian exportable products.
Taste and initiative of Iranians in the weaving delicacy, material and fantastic schemes of this handicraft is unique; therefore, one of the important duties and barriers of the weaver of Termeh is on choosing and matching the colors as this matching is done whether by choosing harmonious colors or even by choosing contrasting colors in a particular form which can represent kind of congruity and beauty and it is considered as a secret in the Iranian style of weaving Termeh.
In general, the colors for weaving Termeh, and especially colors used for its texts, consist of natural herbal colors as well as natural materials in colors like dark red, light red, green, orange, and black; and, the patterns generally include various traditional curved patterns and schemes.
This delicate and fine cloth had been used for different occasions such as sewing aristocratic and noble clothes, curtains, prayer rugs and robe, and were worn mainly by people from noble, aristocratic and monarchal classes, in the past times; however, in the present time, most of the upper- and middle-class people offer it to each other as gifts in weddings, eves, and official or family occasions, and is sometimes used as furniture cloth or table cloth.
Nowadays, Termeh craft which is on the edge of extinction is only woven in the Yazd Province and sold in the other provinces
History of Termeh
What is Termeh is a repetitive question which is asked by people who have no information about Termeh. It is a high quality fabric which has some special designs of paisley, arabesque and flowers. Termeh is one of the precious fabrics which is made of delicate threads.
It is one of the exquisite handicrafts of Iran. Isfahan and Yazd are two famous cities in Termeh production. This handicraft was very popular during the past history of Iran. During Achaemenia, Ashkani and Sassanid Eras, this art attracted the attention of people and historians.
The most prosperous time for this art went back to the Safavid Era when the kings were all interested in art and Termeh was one the handicrafts made by special weaving techniques with difficulty.
During Safavid Era, this art highly flourished because of the various threads and colors used to make this fabric. Kings, rich people and those with a high social rank considered this fabric to make various clothes for their special events.
As the price of Termeh was expensive, people consider it for special applications such as royal curtains, clothes, and prayer mats. This fabric was also luxurious because of its traditional Iranian and paisley patterns.
In the past, the first step in termeh weaving was preparing its raw materials. So it was very important to be careful while preparing wool, washing and drying it.
Weaving termeh needs a good wool which has tall fibres. Usually, the designs of Iranian termeh were the result of the cooperation between two main persons- an expert and a worker.
Weaving Termeh was a very careful, sensitive and time-consuming work that a good weaver could produce only 25 to 30 centimetres (1 feet) in a day. The background colours which are used in termeh are mostly jujube red, light red, green, orange and black.
Designs of Persian Termh
Termeh as a valuable textile has many different usages. So it is woven on different sizes and shapes such as 150*150 or 100*100 centimetres for table cloth and wrapper.
1 – Checked pattern which is like bee’s hive and is used for a tablecloth.
2 – Stripped pattern which is of two models: narrow and wide stripped.
3 – Atabaki pattern which was one of the Kashmiri’s termeh used for expensive fabric because it was a finely woven termeh. Usually, nobles and aristocrats used it as costly and nice cloth.
4 – Zomorrodi pattern in which the green colour was used more than the others.
5- Kashmiri pattern (cashmere) in which the shape of deer’s horn was used for its design.
Pricing of Persian Termeh:
While buying termeh, you have to be careful about what are you paying for? Normally termeh is an expensive piece. Shopping for termeh have these factors in mind:
1- Pieces with lining are priced higher than pieces without lining.
2- Trim normally as the trim used becomes wider and more expensive the piece is priced higher.
3- The number of colours used is a very important factor representing how much labour was used for a piece as the number of colours increases the piece is priced dramatically higher.
Any termeh with gold or silver fibres is priced dramatically higher than pieces without. The uniqueness and the designer’s attention to details is an important factor that should be considered.
Assessing the Value of Termeh Products
A termeh’s value is based on the following:
– The fineness and quality of the fibre and thread;
– The incorporation of gold and silver dramatically increases the value;
– The number of coloured threads used in the weaving. The greater the number of colours, the greater the value. Elaborate termehs can have two to three hundred different coloured threads;
– The number of layers that constitute the fabric, the large number increasing the value;
– The addition of a border and wider borders;
– Fine woven designs usually add more value than embroidered designs. Intricately embroidered designs called sermeh doozy. Printed designs add the least value;
– The uniqueness of the design;
– Lining the fabric. Lining normally adds to the value;