Sofreh of North Khorasan
Sofreh of North Khorasan
The Kurd people who inhabit northern regions of North Khorasan makes versatile products such as Carpets, Kilims and Jajims with elegant and original designs which have roots in their traditions and religious beliefs. Amongst the weaves of North Khorasan, “Sofreh” or blankets are regarded highly. These products are Kilims with unique unmatched decorations. It can be said that based on their design, these Kilims are one of the most different types of this handicraft. Sofreh of Kurd is a kind of needle Kilim that is weaved by Picheshi technique. This means that there are two weft yarns weaved into it. One weft is the basic and unicolor, and the second weft is colorful that creates the patterns. The most important motif of Sofreh are “Angosht” or finger, “Angosht e Arus” or finger of the bride and “Bijak”, and this is the reason these weaves are also known as Angoshti or Pishandaz Kilims.
In the past, the Sofreh were usually used in ceremonies, festivals and were laid in front of the guests at the lunch or dinner time when they were welcomed with kinds of local dishes. The weavers also tell that these weaves were laid on the ground before the bride when she was entering her tent as a symbol of union and blessing. The motifs that are used in these Kilims represent the traditions and respect that Iranians showed to the divine blessings such as bread, and caused these products to be regarded as holy objects. The Sofreh was also used as a cover for the time of baking and making the paste. A nomadic family should have had three pieces of Sofreh, one for making and kneading of the paste, one for baked breads, and one for serving the meals. Today due to dramatic changes of their lifestyle, the nomads use them only as floor coverings.
The villagers and Kurd nomads of North Khorasan, weaved these products in fifteen days. The patterns and designs of this Kilim are inspired by their surroundings and natural habitat. The motif of peacock next to the tree of life is the most notable one. Tree of life is one of the oldest motifs of decorative arts of Iran and Mesopotamia. Most of the Sofrehes are rectangular and have the width of ninety centimeters and the height of one hundred and eighty to three hundred and sixty-five centimeters. The background is mostly brown. There are motifs and paisleys in the center of the blankets that indicate where the dishes should be.