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Arts of Namad-mali to be sponsored in northwestern Iran

TEHRAN – Namad-mali (literally meaning felt beating) will be revived and preserved across Ardebil province, provincial tourism chief announced.

Namad-mali workshops and its-linked crafters will be assisted to revive this ancient tradition, Nader Fallahi said.

One of our strategies is to supply wool at a reasonable price to the existing workshops, the official said.

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Namad-mali, which the art of making the traditional rug, out of woollen fabrics by rolling and pressing, was one of the main professions of Iranians in the time of yore; fallen into oblivion nowadays.

Iran exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19). Of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $250 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces.

Back in May, deputy tourism minister Pouya Mahmoudian noted that due to the outbreak of coronavirus, suitcase exports of handicrafts were completely stopped since the month of Esfand (the last month of the year), and official exports of handicrafts experienced a steep decline.”

“Some 295 fields of handicrafts are currently practiced across Iran with more than two million people engaging, majority of whom are women… Handicrafts also play an important role in the economy in our rural villages,” she said.

Sprawling on a high, windswept plateau, Ardebil is well-known for having lush natural beauties, hospitable people, and its silk and carpet trade tradition. It is also home to the UNESCO-registered Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble.

The province is very cold in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands every year. The capital city of Ardebil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.

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