Tow Bafi of Birjand
Tow Bafi of Birjand
Tow Bafi is the dominant handicraft of Khorashad village, one of the counties of Birjand in the South Khorasan. It was the first village of Iran that was registered as the center of the celebrated handicraft of Tow Bafi. The most common product of Tow Bafi is towels. In fact, due to the softness and delicacy of the Tow Bafi fabrics and their high absorbability of moist, this craft is also known as Howleh Bafi or the craft of making towels. Cotton yarns are the primary material of this weave, and are used as the weft that are inserted between the wraps. Then the weave is packed by the comb to complete the final step of the process. In addition to cotton, silk, wool and synthetic yarns such as acrylic and woolen are incorporated into this beautiful and valuable hand woven product of Khorashad village.
Tow Bafi is done using the traditional “Chahar Verdi” textile machine, and the most important and notable characteristic of this handicraft is that all of the steps of the manufacturing process are done by hands and feet of the makers. To make a Tow Bafi product, the first step is to spin the cotton yarn by the machine and bobbin reel. Then the wrap yarns are stretched over multiple wooden rods of the same size which takes place in an open space. Then the wraps are twisted around a large and fixed rod of wood called “Navard”. A row is weaved when the shuttle is passed through the wraps. After each travel of shuttle, the Dafineh that acts as a comb is moved forward and backward to beat the yarns. There is an unlimited possibility for using colorful yarns and a fascinating mixture of colors in margins and the background of the fabric can be achieved by the imagination of the weaver. Traditional dyeing and herbal pigments are used to produce colorful yarns. Pomegranate skin, walnut skin, onion skin, “Golrang” or Safflower, orange, Saffron threads, garlic and stone grinds are some of the herbal sources of the pigments. Other usages of Tow Bafi are tablecloths, clothing’s, Chadorshab and shawls. It should be mentioned that Tow Bafi goes back to more than three hundred years ago, and was revived in 2004 by a group of women from Khorashad. The largest share of Tow Bafi production belongs to the weavers of this region. The World Council of Handicraft registered Khorashad as the global village of Tow Bafi.