Textile printing is the art of applying color to fabric by hand to create patterns on it.
Textile printing is a traditional Iranian art and a common business in Isfahan. Patterns are printed on the textile with an engraved wooden block. These wooden blocks need to be resistant, solid and inflexible, therefore they are usually made of pear tree.
Textiles are first soaked in river water for 24 hours. Then, they are rested in paste powder of pomegranate peel so they become creamy color. In the workshop the artist first prints the original patterns with a black woodblock on textiles, and then uses different colorful woodblocks to color the patterns. Textiles are steamed, soaked in water and stirred in a bowl of hot water, pomegranate peel and, alizarin. Finally, they are hanged to dry and colors are fixed on textiles.
Textiles are usually made of cotton. In the past natural dyes were used to print the pattern including vegetable, animal and mineral dyes. Today because of the difficulty of the process of fixing natural dyes on textile, chemical dyes are used instead.
Engraving wooden block is an old, delicate and important art in Isfahan. Unfurtunately, there are only a few craftsmen left who still practice this art now. It is difficult to engrave small patterns on a wooden block.
Patterns are various and inspired by Persian miniature pictures. The more talented and skillful the artist is the more desirable the patterns are.
Historical sights, animals, miniature, bards and musicians, flowers and trees, images of poets, ancient tales of Persian literature, images of lovers in Persian literature
The art of textile printing has been common and in practice in Isfahan since the Safavid dynasty until today.