Khatam is a noble and antique handicraft of Iran which is the art of decorating surfaces of the objects with small triangles made of ceramics. Its various designs consist of regular geometric shapes. These geometric shapes are formed through putting the small triangles next to each other. The triangles are made of various kinds of wood, metal and bone. The more delicate and tinier are the triangles, the more valuable the Khatam would be. In the plan of a Khatam, the smallest geometric unit consists of at least three triangles and the biggest one consists of at most four triangles. The value of Khatam is determined by the attention and care which is paid by the master who prepares it, the elegance which can be perceived only through a sensitive look.
On the other hand, various woods like ebony, walnut tree, jujube, betel, cypress and pine and other objects like shell, special kind of yarn, glue and solvent are used in making Khatam. Khatam was previously used to decorate the tombs, doors of religious and non-religious buildings, rostrums, rehal of Holy Quran, chairs, tables and other objects like mirrors but today it is mostly used on decorative objects.
Some of the Iranian Khatam works remained from various historical eras can be seen in some buildings like Atiq Mosque of Shiraz and doors of Mirror Hall in Golestan Palace in Tehran. There are also some other works which are kept in Iran National Museum.
Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran are the most important centers of making and selling Khatam.