KhatamKari (Wooden Inlay)

Khatamkari (Persian inlaid) decorates the surface of wooden or metallic objects with tiny pieces of regular geometric shapes. Patterns vary in Khatam Kari or wood inlays cross-section view. The Khatamkari woodwork lays small pieces of wood, metal, or bone side by side on the object.

Types of Khatam Kari

Mainly, there are two types of khatam inlaying in Iran:

      • The first, wood khatam, designs an object of 0 to 100 out of geometric particles assembled.
      • The second one, metal khatam, only covers the outer side of a metal object with a layer of khtamkari design.

Materials Used in Inlaid Khatamkari Types

Inlay in most countries only includes wood. But in Iran, Inlaid objects consist of bone and metal too. Different materials are useable in making an inlaid, including:

      • Wood: Zelkova, bitter orange, ebony, jujube, kingwood, and boxwood
      • Metal: Wires of gold, silver, aluminum, copper, brass aluminum, and brass
      • Bone: Ivory, camel bones, cow bones, artificial bone, and oyster

Steps to Design Khatamkari Types

Creating a unique, outstanding Khatamkari object, either of wood khatam or metal khatam, includes two steps:

  1. Khatamsazi ("making khatam"): Involves designing the pattern, preparing the materials, making the qāmeh (a rectangular block made up of long wooden sticks), and finally cutting up the qāmeh into "khatam layers."
  2. Khatamkari ("khatam laying"): Involves designing the base surface, gluing khatam layers onto the base surface, and applying a finishing material over the completed work.

Persian inlaid on copper

Inlay or Khatamkari Price

Many parameters affect the price of an inlay or khatamkari. The most critical are details of work done on it, the colors, the patterns, delicate artistry, the frame accuracy, the size of the designs, painting skills, etc. For instance, the more metal (especially brass and silver) pieces used in the artwork, the higher its quality. However, CyrusCrafts offers the best quality Inlay products directly from the producers. It offers khatamkari at the best price from $60 and goes up to $700.

Khatamkari / Inlay Uses

One of the uses of a khatamkari inlay is gifting it as a present. Moreover, artisans in Iran use khatamkari to ornament religious objects and places of worship, resulting in fascinating masterpieces. Today, its use has broadened to include a greater variety of things, including boxes, chest boards, vases, and decorative bowls.

Inlaid / Khatamkari Home Decor Items

What sets Khatamkari apart is that it is applicable on different surfaces, which makes it possible to ornament a wide range of decorative, antique, and vintage objects. Khatamkari home decor items include:

      • Cake/dessert stands
      • Jewel boxes
      • Photo frames
      • Backgammon boards
      • Chessboards
      • Pen cases
      • Candy boxes

Khatamkari inlay

How to Tell Authentic from Fake Inlaid?

If you are about to buy a Khatamkari or Persian inlay, do you know how to distinguish authentic from fake? Here are the key answers; please check each one to tell whether an inlaid is real or fake:

      • Neat paintwork
      • Full polish coating
      • Perfectly flat surface
      • Flawless geometric shapes
      • Even colors
      • No empty spots
      • Perfectly symmetrical patterns on all sides
      • Flawless corners
      • Meticulous patterns – The tinier and more delicate the triangles, the higher the quality

Finally, a genuinely authentic khatam is one whose every piece is handmade.


The Inlay Wood History

Many think the history of inlay wood or khatam kari goes back to the Safavid period. Nevertheless, there were khatamkari artworks thousands of years ago in Shiraz. In the Safavid era, they only brought Persian wood inlays from Shiraz to Isfahan.


Here, you reviewed Khatamkari or Persian Inlay briefly and with all essential details. If you are interested in unique masterpieces and want one in your place, you can have it at the fairest price. The only thing you should do is visit CyrusCrafts' inlaid products and pick up your favorite one.
Furthermore, we offer handmade and organic Iranian souvenirs, such as Persian carpets and rugs, handmade wooden carved furniture, decorative items, style accessories, and tasty organic foods like saffron and caviar. We deliver your orders door-to-door with free shipping quickly. If you live in Canada or the USA, the shipping time gets shorter for CyrusCrafts has local lodges in these two countries.

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