One of the most important industries of Yazd is rug making. Ziloo is a sort of rug, which is involved with the local life in a way that at the moment there are over 65000 scaffolds in Yazd being worked by over 130000 weaver. This tradition backs to very old days and the art of making Ziloo came chest to chest to the recent days.
Ziloo is one of the oldest types of handmade carpets in Iran and has been woven in Meybod (55 km to Yazd) from many years ago. This carpet has proven to be one of the most suitable and most enduring floor coverings, especially in desert areas.
Famous names in this hand-made traditional industry include: Naftal, Parte Ture, Zolfak, Rokneduni, small eight-sided and large eight-sided Ziloos, Banrumi and Kelid. The oldest Ziloo dating back to many centuries ago is presently available for visiting in Congregational Mosque of Meibod.
Ziloo is herbal and it has some important characteristics that are so advantageous for human environment and health. Despite of other Iranian handmade carpets, which are woven of wool, Ziloo is totally herbal (100 percent).
Features of Ziloo:
1- Its yarns are made of cotton and its colors are achieved from herbals, for example:
- Red is achieved from madder
- Blue is from indigo
- Yellow is from saffron and pomegranate peel
Brown is from tobacco and walnut
2- Because of cotton and these herbs, Ziloo is called "health carpet"
3- It doesn’t cause static electricity
There is no electricity charge in Ziloo and its static electricity is zero. Therefore, it is the best and the most healthy carpet for using in houses and environments.
4- Ziloo doesn’t produce aerosols
Ziloo doesn’t have lint, so it doesn’t produce aerosols. It is good for children, elders and the ones with respiratory disease.
5- Ziloo doesn’t cause skin allergy
As its yarns are made of herbs, cellulosic materials are completely natural.
6- Ziloo has been inherited
Because of its special texture and durable yarns, we have some Ziloo that belong to 1386 AD. In Meybod.
7- Ziloo is recyclable
After many years of using Ziloo, when it is rotten, it can be buried as fertilizer because of its cellulosic yarns.
8- Ziloo does not slide on flat surface
9- Ziloo has various motifs
There are more than 200 patterns which can be woven and they belong to the ancient Persia.
Ziloo weaving is a hard work:
The common weavers of Ziloo are men. In past, just men wove ziloo because its device is very big and its weaving is so hard and needs lots of strength and energy. Nowadays, women also weave Ziloo in smaller size.
A Ziloo weaver should move about 13 km along the width for weaving a 6-meter Ziloo and lift more than 1400 kg weight.
Most people can tell the difference between Ziloo and Kilim, since the two hand-woven products have major differences in their raw materials and in their weaving styles.
There are complicated weaving techniques in Ziloo, ones that are rarely seen in Kilim, or in any other hand-woven product. Ziloo, since it is made of cotton, suits an agricultural and village lifestyle perfectly, whereas Kilim is more adaptable to livestock farming and nomadic lifestyles.
Kilim is made of wool, and thus is suitable for cold regions. Ziloo, with cotton thread as its base material, is more appropriate for hot regions, especially on the borders of the desert. It seems, however, that Ziloo weaving is at a more developed stage than Kilim.
Ziloo mainly uses geometric patterns, and sometimes the designs take the form of inscribed tablets.
Contrary to other Iranian carpet types, Ziloo has a limited variety of colors. The colors which are used, like those in other regions, were locally produced.
Generally, Ziloo is categorized into three types based on color and function. White and blue ones are mainly used in mosques and holy places. The red and blue ones are used inside houses, also known as Johari, while green and red ones called Naftal are of the highest quality.