Gereh Chini

Gereh Chini

Tehran windows, shutters, drawers and stained glass

One of Iran’s traditional decorative crafts is Gereh Chini, which literally means knotting, or the art of placing finely cut pieces of wood on a surface according to a specific pattern. Geometric knots, with rhythmic repetition, are considered an essential part of the Gereh Chini. The art of Gereh Chini art reached its peak during the Safavid dynasty as a type of decorative art for court objects. In the Gereh Chini, the wooden pieces are used in their raw color and no varnish is added. According to the artists who practice this art, the banana is the best wood for this work.

However, wood from other trees such as walnut, beech, almond, blueberry, pear, and jujube, is used to make structures such as shrine doors, chairs, doors and windows, picture frames, tables, dividers, and many other decorative items. There are seven types of knots and each of them has its own background and design. This method is also usable to make the Persian Orsi sash window, a kind of window made with a mixture of knots and stained glass. Those beautiful windows were mainly used during the Zand and Kayar dynasty. The finer the pieces of wood, the more valuable the product will be. The use of male and female unions makes Gereh Chini pieces resistant to the different climates of Iran. Therefore, the works of this art have a great variety, such as windows, drawers, chests and doors.

Chehel Sotun and the historical mansions of Isfahan, the houses of the Tabatabai, Abbasi and Borudjerdi in Kashan and the Golestan Palace in Tehran are the prototypes of this art.


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