The history of tile manufacturing and decorating goes back to the prehistoric period and has an important position among the various decorative arts in Iranian architecture. Iran has the most beautiful tile work in the world. Over the centuries, glazed bricks and tiles have been used to decorate palaces, mosques, monuments, mausoleums, official buildings, schools, and shops.
The importance of tile work in Persian architecture arises from two important factors; first the need to weatherproof the simple clay bricks used in construction, and second, the need to ornament the buildings. Tiles were used to decorate monuments from early ages in Iran.
Evidence of brick work, stucco carving and tile panels from the last 14 centuries have provided much evidence of creative and imaginative nature of Persian Artisans. They placed their art in the service of religious architecture. This religious inspiration found its highest expression in ornate inscriptions, which decorated so many works during these centuries. Mosaic patterns were the first step in the evolution of tile decoration. Imaginative and creative artisans put together mosaic patterns using bits of colored stone and brick and created patterns of triangles, semi-circles and circles in harmony with the structures they were placed on. These patterns later evolved into design of natural subjects, such as plants, trees, animals and human beings.
The art of tile working blossomed in the Islamic period of Iran. It became the most important decorative feature of religious buildings. In Safavid era, artists used Naskh and Thulth scripts. Works of famous calligraphers, such as Alireza Abbasi, Mohammad Saleh Isfahani, Mohammad Reza Imami and Hossein Banna have been found. One of the famous mosques in Isfahan enjoying a rich variety of tile work is Khayyatha Mosque which researches has done lots of examination on it.