Designed by Luis Eslava, Silence Zilu aims to preserve and reenergize the production of a weaving technique thousands of years old and on the verge of disappearance.
A human heritage at its best: for almost a thousand years, the tradition of zilu weaving has been produced along the perimeter of the Kavir desert. Described as "the most intellectually demanding of flatweaves" by Parvaz Tanavoli in his book 'Persian Flatweaves', zilu rugs bear many similarities to Hasir mats, mankind's earliest known hand-woven item.
Made of cotton threads to adapt to the hardship of the extreme desert heat, the earliest mention of zilu weaving is recorded by Nasser Khosrow (1033- 1088) who refers to 400 zilu weaving looms in the town of Tun.
In August 2017 we were briefed by some local officials on how fragile the Zilu existence was. With just about 40 weavers working. It is a drastic contrast with the 2,500 looms that existed prior to 1979 according to an article by John Tompson. He also illustrates the sharp decrease by saying that in a period of four years they went down to 1,000 looms.
To preserve this ancient wealth and knowledge, we have partnered with Luis Eslava to create a new design that shows the beauty of Zilu to the contemporary world.
Sizes available (please check with store for details):
Red-white: 160cm x 246cm
Blue-white: 145cm x 240cm
Red-blue: 168cm x 238cm
Free local delivery for orders above $1000. Orders within Singapore will usually arrive within 7-10 working days. We appreciate your patience especially during such times. For international orders for large items, please contact our sales team (we will not process the payment on overseas orders for large rugs).
As no other rug, zilu rugs are traded by weight not by size, dimension or format.
As a gesture of generosity many citizens would donate intricately woven Zilu rugs to the local mosques to be used by random citizens attending the prayers.
In a specific case, the donor specially ordered a custom made Zilu on which his name was woven, along with a request for the accidental user of the rug to do a prayer for him. This piece can be admired at the cosy Meybod Zilu Museum. Along with fantastic antique Zilu, including the earliest one dating from 1405.
The decrease in interest for Zilu is linked to the industrialization of the area and the consequent attractive job opportunities for the young in the factories. Along with it comes the lack of attention and innovation invested in the Zilu production.
We really believe in this project and through the support of our customers, we trust we shall be able to restore the craft to its splendour, forming generations of new craft master weavers. And insulating new air through innovation and design to this otherwise weakened technique.
Zilu weaving is a community affair. Women and men participate in their creation.
When we visited the workshop in Meybod the weavers explained to us that since ancient times when there was a baby born in a household, the parents would plant a tree. When the kid was a man ready to marry, the tree was cut off vertically in half and it would be used to build the weaving frame for the new household. This image of skill linked with wealth and family values rein-forces our need to treasure this resource for the community.
The final outcome is a strong and beautiful product made to last, perfect for hot climates and fit for an active and fun urban life.
It is also ecologically efficient and it supports fairly and directly the weaving community.
Local orders will usually arrive within 7-10 working days. We appreciate your patience, especially during such times. For international orders of large items, please contact our sales team (we will not process the payment on overseas orders for large rugs).