Art of making Iran’s traditional soap registered nationally

IFP- The director general of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of East Azarbaijan [Province], Morteza Abdar, said that the art of making the traditional soap of Maragheh (in northwestern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan) was registered in the list of Iran’s national intangible cultural heritage items, in a meeting in Tehran on March 11.

According to a Farsi report by IRNA, Abdar added with a historical background of more than two centuries, the soap of Maragheh is Iran’s most well-known traditional soap and the main and most valuable souvenir of the Iranian county.

He said prior to the mass production of industrial soaps, Maragheh soap was used by most people in Iranian cities, adding, it is currently available in abundance in the traditional markets of all the cities of the country and is quite popular among Iranians.

“Following the submission of the documents by the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of East Azarbaijan [Province] to the expert committee of registering intangible cultural heritage items and after carrying out the required studies in this regard, the committee registered the art of making Maragheh’s traditional soap in the list of Iran’s national intangible cultural heritage items.

The soap of Maragheh is made of caustic soda and [sheep’s] tail fat. No chemical substance is used in the production of the soap.

At present, despite the large number of industrial soaps in the Iranian market, Maragheh soap, as a traditional detergent, is still popular among Iranians and has an international reputation.

The production of the soap takes a long time. Some six hours are required for the main materials used in the making of the soap to mix together. While it takes three more hours for the mixture to turn into soap.

Located 125 kilometers south of Tabriz, Maragheh is the second largest county of the East Azarbaijan Province.