The oldest samples of mat weaving in Iran were used as flooring in Sialk Hills (Isfahan Province), Hajji Firuz Tepe (West Azerbaijan Province) and excavations of Shahr-e Sukhteh (meaning Burnt City in Sistan and Baluchestan Province). The samples received from Shahr-e Sukhteh demonstrate that the mats were used as a cover for the floor of graves.
Mat weaving is a general term in Iran used for a number of handicrafts which are made of weaving the strands of straws; but it is worth mentioning that in a scientific categorization, each of those arts like Bamboo Baafi, Tarkeh Baafi (basket weaving), Cheegh Baafi (curtain weaving) and Kapu Baafi has a separate position in the field of handicrafts.
Bamboo Baafi: it is the art of weaving all the objects made of bamboo wood.
Tarkeh Baafi: it is the art of weaving products like basket with the narrow strands of the trees which has different names in different regions depending on the type of used strands.
Cheegh Baafi: it is a curtain made of straws and thin stems of the trees used in the walls of nomads’ tents.
Kapu Baafi: the central fresh stems of palm trees are woven around date palm leaves and are decorated with colorful yarns which lead to the formation of sphere-like objects that may have lids too.
The mat products can be classified into different groups depending on their usages: flooring, building materials, curtain and parasol, different dishes, tablecloth, hat, and eventually accommodation.
It is interesting to know that in some regions of Iran, mat is used in building the accommodations. The two most frequent kinds of these accommodations are called Kapar and Mozif.
Kapar: it is a temporary shelter which is mostly observed in Balouchestan region, it has a hemispheric shape and is made of strands and leaves of date palm. Its other name is Loog.
Mozif: it is an inn mostly common among the Arabs of South of Iran especially in Khuzestan province. It is a rectangular room for serving the guests and also a place for gatherings of the men who want to be out of home space. Architecturally, it is a crescent house which is completely made of straws and the floor is covered with carpet.
Today, mat has a wide range of applications in the daily lives with its various designs, shapes and colors for decorating houses, furniture, bags, shoes, cloths, curtains and etc.