Getting to Know Some Handwoven Nomads, Salt Bag, Chanteh and Khorjin


Nomadic hand-wovens are a manifestation of their courage, art, creativity, nature-friendliness and hard work. The nomadic people from different Baloch, Qashqai, Bakhtiari, etc., have lived a loving life together with many arts in the height of peace, and along with this exemplary life, they have created tools, some of which have gained world fame. Nomadic handicrafts and hand-wovens such as salt pans, carpets, rugs, khorjin and chanteh, etc., are very famous, but some of these valuable heritages have faded and are being forgotten. The entire production process of these tools, such as picking wool, spinning and dyeing it, is done by the nomads. In the following, we will introduce you to some of these handicrafts. Stay with us.

Salt Bag

In the nomadic culture of Iran, salt has had a special value and meaning since the distant past, and respecting bread and salt is a characteristic of Iranian people. Salt bag weaving is generally attributed to the Afshar tribes, the Bakhtiari, the Lor , the Shahsevan tribes, and the Baluch. Almost all the nomads of Iran except the Turkmen have salt bag weaving. Among these nomads whose names were mentioned, the Afshar tribe of Kerman is one of the biggest producers of salt bags. The point that is mentioned in relation to this hand-woven is that they are woven like hand-woven carpets by nomadic women. Salt is considered one of the most precious blessings of God in the nomadic culture and reminds us of good qualities such as chivalry, gratitude, honesty. This is the reason why Iranian people swear by salt and value it a lot. If you pay attention to the structure of the salt bag, you will realize its importance and sanctity.

The salt bag has a body and a throat that resembles the human body and prayer carpets. The front of it is woven with a special kilim knot, the back of the salt bag is usually narrowly striped and in the form of a kilim, the end of the salt bag is woven like a carpet due to its strength, and both sides are wrapped with goat hair and for its interior, the cotton cloth is used as a lining, which also helps to dry the salt inside. Also, this fabric prevents salt from coming into contact with wool because constant contact of salt with wool causes wool to rot. Salt bag are hand-woven that nomads use to store and carry coarse and ground salt for shepherds so that they can supply the salt needed by the herd. Of course, it should be mentioned that the salt bag is also used to store other agricultural products such as barley, wheat, beans. In addition to the consumption of shepherds, nomads need salt for their daily life. The nomads put the salt they need in these handwoven bags and hang them from their tents and use them for cooking. Grinding salt is difficult to obtain and taking care of it is essential for nomads.

The designs that are used to weave salt shakers are diverse. Among these designs, we can mention the pattern of pond, stripes, geometric polygons, fish, bird, flowers and plants, which create extraordinary combinations by using appropriate and beautiful colors. Red, blue, yellow, brown, green and white colors are used in most of the salt bags. Since these salt bags are woven from wool, they have the same maintenance method as hand-woven carpets and must be protected from moisture and heat and also be protected from continuous exposure to sunlight. To wash them, lukewarm water and ordinary detergents are used.

Afshar-salt-bag, 35*50-cm

                       Afshar salt bag, 35*50 cm



                                Back of salt bag


A chanteh or bag is one of the handwoven nomads, which is defined in the Dehkhoda dictionary as “a bag for dervishes, which is made of carpet material and sewn like a bag, and is embroidered with leather around it and hung from the neck.” In this century, there are few people who think about camping. Now the nomads have packed their tents and turned to the urban lifestyle. For this reason, it is not customary to use a bag to carry personal belongings as in the past. The nomads used bags to transport salt and flour.

You can read:

All Things about Qashqai Rugs!

The bag consists of two parts, on which it is woven in the form of a carpet, and behind it, it is woven in the form of a jajim. Finally, a bag with dimensions of 30×40 centimeters is created, which is sewn on three sides, and one side is left open, and tassels are woven on the two lower sides. In the upper part, a hook made of bag material is woven into it and used as a bag. The type of raw material of the bag is like a hand-woven carpet, and both symmetrical and asymmetrical knots are used to weave the product. Wool is used for weaving and horizontal loom is used to weave it. Due to its small width when setting up the loom, the weaver can weave 10 to 20 bags in different designs. There are many different designs used in the weaving of chanteh, among which we can mention the motif of peacock, bote jeghe, bird, and geometric designs.


                       Antique Afshar chanteh



                     Antique Afshar chanteh


Khorjin are two symmetrical bags that are connected to each other and each bag is installed on the sides of the load animal such as horse and donkey and the nomads put their tools and necessities in it. Due to the fact that the nomads were constantly on the move and needed a suitable and durable device to carry their goods such as dairy products, curds, and oil, that’s why they produced khorjin. Due to the impassability of the nomads’ traffic route due to the presence of mountains and rocks, they used several techniques to weave khorjin so that it would not be damaged due to contact with the rocks and would be more efficient for the nomads. Khorjin is also used as a bag and fund. To weave khorjin, goat hair was used for the warp and sheep wool was used for the background.

All things about Gabbeh, other nomadic hand-woven:

What Is Gabbeh? Everything You Need to Know about Gabbeh!

Khorjins have many uses and are woven in various sizes, which can be divided into three categories: small, normal and large. Khorjins that are prepared in small size consist of two squares that are sewn on a rectangle. This type of khorjin is used to store documents and valuables or ornaments, some of which are used by nomadic women while riding, and they hang it in front of the horse’s saddle and put their belongings inside. The second type, which are ordinary khorjins, are woven in the size of 100 x 50 cm and are used for moving food and living tools. The third type of khorjins are woven in dimensions of 150 x 100 cm and in larger dimensions, and their pockets are rectangular, and they are often woven in Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province. Khorjin is woven in two ways. It is either woven by knotting like a carpet or it is done with a spinning machine like a nomadic tent.
The looms are erected both horizontally and vertically. Khorjin patterns also have a lot of variety, but more than geometric elements are designed on them. Currently, due to the settlement of nomads, the weaving of khorjin is not like the past, and the people’s need for it is not the same as in the past. Among the khorjins that are woven in Iran, the Ardabil woven ones are of higher quality and more durable.


           Antique Afshar khorjin circa 1900s

4 thoughts on “Getting to Know Some Handwoven Nomads, Salt Bag, Chanteh and Khorjin

  1. xrumer23agock says:

    Hey people!!!!!
    Good mood and good luck to everyone!!!!!

    1. vernacarpet says:

      Thank you dear friend

  2. X22Agock says:

    Hey people!!!!!
    Good mood and good luck to everyone!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *