Thursday, February 13, 2014

5 Things to Buy in Yazd

Yazd is known for a lot of things. Aside from its well-known badgir, windtowers, that adorn the city and the wonderfully musical accent that had me pouting as to why I didn't have any Yazdi relatives so I could speak the same, I was surprised at all the other things it was known for. It seemed like anything I touched, it was, "Oh, these are a specialty of Yazd!"

So, should you make it to this ancient city on your trip to Iran (and I highly recommend you don't leave Iran until you do), these are some of the things to buy either for yourself or as gifts to take back.

1. Shamadthin cotton blankets
Throughout my entire childhood, whenever we took a siesta, we always used shamad, the perfect lightweight cover for the summer. Little did I know that the best shamad are from, where else, Yazd. Even the manly men of the Zurkhaneh had these draped around their shoulders as they warmed up. Yazd has good cotton, and that's what makes these so special. In addition to the blankets, there are also lots of smaller cloths that make for good use in the kitchen.

I got these cloths for my kitchen.

2. Talā, gold
Talā Yazd is quite famous as it's usually 22 or 24 karats. Walk through the Gold Bazaar and just marvel at the different styles. You might want to brush up on your chooneh zadan, bargaining, skills should you decide to buy something, though. Or else go with someone who can chooneh well. 

Gold Bazaar
Also got the ring on the bottom right!

3. Termeh
Termeh is a kind of elegant embroidered fabric with beautiful paisley designs. You can find it made into a variety of products such as shoes, bags, tablecloths, jewelry pouches and more.

4. Kāshikāri, tiles/ceramics/pottery
Oh the tiles and ceramics! There are some incredibly talented artists in Yazd. Right next to Zendān EskandarAlexander Prison, is the Isatis ceramic shop that I could have spent hours in. Unfortunately, there was a huge "No Photography" sign on the inside, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Inside Alexander Prison are individual eyvan, rooms, converted into shops that sell ceramics, tiles, and other handicrafts. I didn't make it to Meybod, just outside Yazd, but there is supposed to be amazing pottery there!


One of the eyvan/ceramic stores of Alexander Prison

5. Copper pots
Need some copper dishes? Visit Bazaar-e-Mesgarān, Coppersmith Bazaar, and get your fix of all your copper needs. As you walk through the bazaar, you'll also pass plenty of stores hammering in designs or whitening the pots to make them safe for use. 

Whitening the pots

Here are my purchases from Yazd! As you can see, I got at least one of everything. I was heartbroken that my ceramic horse didn't make it in one piece, but all the more reason to go back I guess! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post all about the delicious local Yazdi treats!


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