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Ghalamkar - Hand printed Iranian textile

Ghalamkar - Hand printed Iranian textile

Ghalamkar is one of the most important Iranian handicrafts, which is mainly produced in the city of Isfahan, and it is the art of printing motifs on textiles.

March 28, 2020

What is Ghalamkar?

Ghalamkar or Qalamkar is a type of textile printing using hand carved wooden stamps to cover the textile with oriental and Iranian motifs and designs, including flora and fauna, arabesques, geometric designs, hunting scenes, Persian calligraphy and etc. These delicate and eye catching ornaments and designs are usually derived from other Iranian arts and handicrafts, like Persian carpets and tile works of Iranian mosques to remind the magical beauty of the thousands of flowers in the paradiseand Persian Gardens. As well as being home to many other Iranian handicrafts, Isfahan is the center of producing Ghalamkar textiles.

Ghalamkat Textile - Isfahan , Iran

Ghalamkat Textile - Isfahan , Iran

History of Ghalamkar

We don’t know when exactly Ghalamkar art was invented but according to Arthur Pope, this art existed in Iran during the Ghaznavid Dynasty. During the kingdom of Shah Abbas, the Safavid King, this art was flourished, while the famous Gheisarieh Bazaar of Isfahan was the center of producing different kinds of Ghalamkar textiles with different motifs and colors. Since that time, Isfahan has always been the center of creating Ghalamkar textiles and most of the traditional workshops are located in Khorzugh Town (near Isfahan), at which fine Ghalamkar are produced with cotton textile and exported to every corner of Iran and the world.

Antique Ghalamkar Textile  - Isfahan , Iran

Antique Ghalamkar Textile  - Isfahan , Iran


Ghalamkar is usually printed on cotton, silk, canvas and fustian textiles and considering the high absorption the best choice is cotton textile.

The wooden stamps with which the motifs are printed on the textile, are usually made of pear or hawthorn wood and are prepared by the hands of woodcraft artists. It is interesting to know that for decorating a Ghalamkar textile four different stamps with different patterns are required to be prepared.

In the past, the colors used in Ghalamkari included herbal and mineral colors, like red rose, turmeric, pomegranate peel, metal rust, indigo and different oils. Today, most of Ghalamkar textiles are painted with chemical colors, while the fine ones are still decorated with the mentioned natural colors.

Ghalamkar stamp - Isfahan, Iran

Ghalamkar stamp - Isfahan, Iran


Ghalamkar is still widely produced in the city of Isfahan and the best place for buy and see this Iranian handicraft is the handicraft Bazaar of this city which is around the magnificent Naghsh-e Jahan Square. The beautiful and eye catching Ghalamkar textiles are used as table cloth, shawls, bags, and even as dresses or curtain in modern fashion and decoration.

Ghalamkat Textile - Isfahan , Iran

Ghalamkat Textile - Isfahan , Iran


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