We invited the supplier of our beautiful new jewellery collection from Iran, Pegah Mohebbi, to write us a guest blog about the history of hand embroidery and what is being done to preserve craft traditions in Iran.
The province of Sistan-Baluchestan is situated in south-eastern Iran. With a population of 2.6 million, it is the largest region in the country. The province has historically suffered from political repression, economic deprivation and has witnessed violence through terrorism from extremist Sunni groups and drug smuggling. Today, it is the most under-developed region of Iran.
Sistan-Baluchestan stands out as being a particularly traditional and conservative, with many social restrictions on women including limited rights to education, under age marriage and high levels of violence against women.
While many government initiatives in the region have failed there is a growing trend stemming from the younger generation of educated women who aim to create job opportunities for the local women in aid of improving living standards and helping them gain independence. One of the most successful of these initiatives involves the popular craft of Baluch hand-embroidery.
Many Baluch women have turned to the art of hand-embroidery they have learnt and practiced since they were children to make their living and to support themselves and their families. With the invaluable effort of young artists and designers around the country, this tradition is being kept alive and restored:
Mixing the old and the new: Hand-embroidery is an ancient Iranian craft. Through support and mentoring of young designers educated in this craft, Baluch women are introduced to new innovative designs, tools and techniques, helping them create pieces suited to the demands of consumers today more efficiently.
Building a support network: Baluch woman are trained and supported to be able to reach their highest potential. They are mentored to be able to adapt their skills to the modern world. By partnering with young artists and designers in main cities of the country and abroad, their work is introduced to the contemporary fashion world for recognition of their beautiful intricate work as well as reliable continuous income.
A sense of belonging: This is not just about work opportunities and producing beautiful colourful piece that can be worn. It is much more. This is about creating a safe environment and a sense of community for Balouch women who can gain independence and confidence in themselves and their ability.
For more Baluch embroidery products visit the Danaqa store or masoudi.co.uk