The story starts with the design process. We find inspiration in ideas, places, concepts, and personalities. Our designer pours his ideas into the mold of the traditional proportions that tasbih making entails. It truly is one of the hallmarks of Islamic art and craftsmanship. Guided by the designer’s plans and the need for durability and workability, we make our material selection.
Our suppliers provide us with top-quality stones and woods, sourced around the globe. In that sense our materials are as international as our clients. We only use what is durable and natural. We are very picky! Some materials might seem attractive but are either too porous, prone to mold, or they absorb too much moisture. Others would cut even the most durable thread in half, which means we have no choice but to exclude them.
Preparing the material
The material is first sliced into a series of different-size pieces. Each size corresponds to a particular part of the tasbih—the longest bead (called the minaret), the divider, the accents, and the beads themselves.
Carving and drilling
Our artisans’ work is a matter of millimeters. They follow a meticulous process that fits within a tradition of centuries old. During the carving phase, done by hand and moved by intention, the craftsman must remain extremely focused. There are no markers or molds to rely on. It requires careful hand-eye-coordination that takes years to learn and decades to master. The holes of the beads have to be bored precisely and the diameter of the minaret has to be exact. If not done correctly, it can take years off of the potential life of a set. If the hole is off just a fraction of a millimeter, the beads will not be perfectly aligned. Just a few misaligned beads can spoil the harmony of the entire tasbih, which can only be detected when it is strung. The smaller scale of our tasbih bracelets make the carving phase even more precarious.
Once ready, the beads are sanded, manifesting their true beauty. Our beads are not varnished but simply polished, just enough to bring out their natural charm.
Threading and tasseling
Our craftspeople string the beads together with threads that have proven their worth over and over again. They are outstandingly durable. We go to great lengths to pair our materials and designs with the perfect thread. The particular bead count of the set is followed. There is no room for error—numbers are important. Both sides of the thread are finally strung together through the minaret, which explains why the size of the minaret’s hole has to be perfect. The tassel is the cherry on top. Even if previous steps in the crafting process have been executed meticulously, a bad tasseling job will render it all futile.
Once a set is complete, we test, test, and test some more! We make sure that all steps have been carried out perfectly. We verify that the material is of highest quality and finish and that the alignment of the beads is harmonious. The strength of the thread is examined and the durability of the tassels is checked. Many a set does not make it past this stage, but that is the nature of the craft. We can only share our work with the world if it is so outstanding that we would personally gift it to our closest loved ones.