Khātam is a Persian version of marquetry, art forms made by decorating the surface of wooden articles with delicate pieces of wood, bone and metal precisely-cut geometrical shapes. Khatam-kari is the art of crafting a Khatam. Khatam-kari has been a common industry for more than 400 years in some part of Iran, specifically in Isfahan and Shiraz.
Common materials used in the construction of inlaid articles are gold, silver, brass, aluminum and twisted wire.
Designing of inlaid articles is a highly elaborate process. In each cubic centimeter of inlaid work, up to approximately 250 pieces of metal, bone, ivory and different kinds of wood are laid side by side, glued together in stages, smoothed, oiled and polished. Inlaid articles in the Safavid era took on a special significance as artists created their precious artworks. Woods used include betel, walnut, cypress and pine. These works include doors and windows, mirror frames, Quran boxes, inlaid boxes, pen and penholders, lanterns and shrines