What is mother of pearl? Why is it popular?

What is mother of pearl ?

Mother of pearl or nacre is an organic / inorganic thin layered material produced by some mollusks & oysters. The inner shell wall is strong , resilient & iridescent.


The mother of pearl is widely used for Architectural & jewelry purposes. It is mainly used in furniture’s , musical instruments, home décor and jewelries. The specialty of the mother of pearl is that it is iridescent (which means showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles) and natural nacre may be artificially tinted to almost any color.

History & technique

Mother-of-pearl inlay, otherwise called mother-of-pearl marquetry is the method of embedding the mother of pearl with wood to create different decorative items.
The earliest instances of this craftsmanship are found on Sumeria dated to 4000 B.C. Mother-of pearl marquetry was seen particularly in eastern nations like India, China, Japan & Vietnam before. This handcraft is spread across middle east nations as long as 2000 years old & history says that this legacy spread from Damascus to nations like Turkey & Spain. This mother of pearl furniture is limitless and can be applied to any household item or artwork, like kitchen-or lounge room furniture, on the wall, tables, or simply a little ring box.

Mother of pearl inlaid furniture’s

The nature of the mother of pearl is vital. All shelled mollusks have a shell with a kind of mother of pearl, yet the freshwater mollusks are one of the most incredible. Because they give huge level pearl spaces and are milk white to make a decent differentiation on dark wood, accordingly the wood must be in great quality & shape, typically pecan, mahogany or rose wood is chosen for inlays.
In this inlay technique, first the mother of pearl is cut into desired shape and then the craftsman draws his design on the wood & cuts it accordingly to place the mother of pearl shells inside. This technique is also known as etching or embedding. This traditional Syrian art of marquetry originated in Damascus and is continued there to this day. There are three predominant types of inlays: either mother of pearl, wood, or bones. The most common way is the use of mother of pearl as an inlay.


Historically, these precious inlaid Syrian furniture’s were created for the wealthy and noble Arab society with an exquisite lifestyle. Hence many people found this type of artwork interesting  and added it to their homes, palaces, courtyards and museums. This ancient piece of craftmanship still exists within many  regions of the world. All the pieces are uniquely designed and handmade with majestic artistry and skills.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Shop now

Fill Up Your Spaces With Luxurious Ambience Today!