(Persia Digest) – Mashteh is a type of woolen cloth which is handwoven by lur women. It is among the oldest handwoven cloths in western Iran.
Mashteh is a type of fabric, and in handicraft categorization, it is considered traditional textile. The raw material is spun wool. However, currently available polyester and acrylic threads which are available on the market are used.
The loom has four heddles and four pedals. The area of the loom is a rectangular, with a width of 2 m and a length of approximately 5 m. The structure of the device is located on a cubic shaped pit, and the device's pedals go into it, and the weaver sits at the end edge of the pit.
First, the colored wool threads are wrapped in a coil over wooden bars of 40 cm in length. Then the threads are uncoiled and passed regularly over a horizontal bar that is attached to the wall or hangs over the ceiling. Then, the threads are passed horizontally under a bar that is fixed with a stone or pin. Nowadays, this is done by a device called Cheleh keshi.
After mashteh is woven, it is wrapped around a wooden bar. At the end of the work, cloths with a length of 2 m and a width of 50 cm are made.
In the past, mashteh has been used to wrap bedding, but today there are other uses such as tablecloths, furniture covers, appliques on women bags and shoes.
With new changes in design, color, and weaving techniques, newer usages can be created. This cloth is woven in most parts of Lorestan Province and in the cities such as Khorramabad, Borujerd, Noor Abad, Aligoodarz. In recent years, European markets such as Sweden and Norway have shown interest in this handicraft and export to these countries has flourished.
Photos: Behzad Salahvarzi / IRNA