What is Khatam?
Khatam is a cover that is obtained by placing a thin layer about one and a half millimeters thick and equilateral pieces of colored wood with triangular pieces of brass metal and bone. Khatam making is one of the top arts in Isfahan.
The basis and method of inlay work is very similar to mosaic work, which has a long history not only in Iran but also in the world.
In Khatam art, the small pieces of wood, bone and metal are prepared in a long stroll and put together in a perfectly regular way in the form of geometric shapes, and after cutting in layers, attach them with wood glue on a wooden substrate. they do.
Remains of ancient artifacts such as in palaces and Qur’anic shrines show the antiquity of this art in the city of Isfahan, especially in the Safavid era.
Steps of making an inlay
The inlayer first cuts colored woods such as jujube, orange, betel, ebony, etc. into strips with a height of 60 cm to dry.
Bones are also used for high-quality work by first placing strips of camel bone in lime water for about 3 months until the color is completely white.
In the first stage of cutting, the strips of wood and bone are cut and scraped in such a way that a clean triangular cross-section is obtained, which in the traditional term is called six. These strips are placed next to the brass strip, which has become quite similar to pieces of wood and bone by carving, in a regular and colorful arrangement with a layer of gluing glue.
The prepared lungs are closed with thread so that they stick together while drying. This process continues until a complete flower with a height of 60 cm is obtained. After preparing several flowers, they are placed between the two boards next to each other. They are cut and filled with wood glue or glue and cut into pieces under the press, which is called qameh.
The master cuts layers with a thickness of one to one and a half millimeters from the surface of the saw, which is called Lengeh. After preparing the infrastructure by carving the inlays based on the design, color, shape and Dimensions are glued to the work surface with special adhesives and by heating.
After plastering, grinding and repairing the work surface, the inlay is prepared and finally the top of the sealer is covered. The finer and stronger the inlay is made and the higher the quality of the raw materials, the greater its value. In some cases, gold and silver are used instead of rice.