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Khameh Duzi of Sistan and Baluchestan


Khameh Duzi is a subcategory of traditional embroidery of Iran. This craft is common in Sistan and Baluchestan province, in the city of Zabol. The word “Khameh”, which has roots in the word kham with the meaning of raw, refers to the fact that raw and not dyed silk yarns are used to make embroideries on white and soft fabrics. The silk yarn with its special sparkle is used to make geometric motifs like square, diamond, or paper windmill pattern, on the white and matte background which not only creates a spectacular view but also it adds to the durability and strength of the thin fabric. This kind of embroidery is mostly applied on clothing, men’s headwear, table cloth and many other textiles.

Khameh Duzi or Kham Duzi is crafted by raw silk yarns and that is the reason it is named so. Regardless of the production, this craft is somehow similar to the Baluch embroidery. One difference is that in Khameh Duzi only silk yarns that are usually all in white are used. Khameh Duzi has a history parallel to the history of silk work, and they have undergone many amazing changes in time. Today Khameh Duzi is practiced only in villages of Zabol, and it consists of cursive motifs. It is applied to decorate prayer rugs, busts of clothing, handkerchiefs, vests, table cloths, beddings, blankets, cushions and many other objects. Motifs like “Hasir Duzi”, “Toor Duzi”, “Khameh Keshi”, Nargesi”, “Goli”, paisley, stars, geometric, kinds of stitches, cursive, different patterns such as seeds, fishtail are common in Khameh Duzi, amongst which Hasir Duzi and paisley are usually done in the center and the others on the margins. The motifs are applied on the margins in the form of strips, and flowers and bushes are applied in the center. In some cases, patterns are also printed by wooden blocks or painted on the fabric by pencils and carbon copy papers. Khameh Duzi is practiced as a domestic activity in Yazd and county of Taft, too.

The materials necessary for Khameh Duzi are satin or cotton fabric, needle, mirror and white silk yarn. This is very delicate needlework and is used as margins and very thin stitches. It takes complete and elaborate needle working to make a beautiful and fine piece of Khameh Duzi. In case of clothing, the Khameh Duzi is accompanied by Siah Duzi, a kind of embroidery with black yarn. For example, the buttonhole is stitched with black yarn and the collar and handcuff are decorated with black stitches.

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