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Termeh is a nice cloth which is woven since Safavi era in Iran.There is an argument between researchers about its origin. Some of them believe that termeh has been made in Kashmir and then brought to Iran.Others say that Iranian have been the innovators of weaving termeh and this material has been taken into concentration like other handicrafts in other parts of the world (Kasmir: Historical region divided between India and Pakistan).
But it is a real fact that Iranian termeh in comparison with what ever produced in Kashmir is much better and it has different colours and designs. The only reason that made the Kashmir famous is using a kind of string which is produced by wild goat’s wool. Besides the main place where it lives is Himalaya mountain range located north of India. So Kashmiri termeh weaves have had more availability to it while Iranian had to use fleece.
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.
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.
Termeh is a very durable cloth in which fixed colours are used so it can be washed and dried easily. Nowadays termeh is mostly used for the collectable tablecloth and also for cushion covers. These tablecloths are usually decorated with elaborative Persian embroidery called Sermeh Doozi.
The last and the most important factor is either the termeh is plain or if it has embroidery. Nowadays most of the Persian termeh are elaboratively embroidered using a technique that is called “Sermeh Doozi”. This is an embroidery technique that was used in ancient Persia and has been taught from one generation to the next.
Sermeh doozy is a prominent needlework used in ancient Persia. It is an embossed technique used on expensive pieces of fabric and clothing ever since. The artist uses a threaded needle and passes it through small delicate pieces of gold embroidery tube (Sermeh) and sews and secures it to the fabric.The designer usually uses pearls and beads too to make the design more glamorous and also outstanding. This sort of embossed work is truly outstanding and one of a kind.