The production of illustrated manuscripts was limited to Royal workshops due to its technical mastery and the expense involved in using the materials. These workshops were often supported by the rulers in order to produce famous literary works, histories and Qurans. The Quaran manuscript from the Husaini Arts collection (see figure) is attributed to being from one such workshop plausibly produced in the cultural center of Shiraz.
The initial steps of creating a manuscript began with producing paper; one interesting technique of the islamic world that was assimilated into these workshops was the process of making paper from rags of linen and hemp instead of tree pulp. After a laborious step by step approach the paper was often passed through decorative touches of tint, gold sprinkle and marble effects. The pigments used often came from natural sources like gold, silver, lapis lazuli, ground cinnabar (red), orpiment (yellow) and malachite (green), indigo (dark and light blue). As these materials were expensive to procure, some workshops often used substitutes.
A characteristic feature of illuminated Qurans from sixteenth century Shiraz is of the style of illumination, choice of pigments, the visual continuity and discontinuity of colours and text which is prominent in this manuscript. One can also see the double folio containing two rosettes or shamsas adorning floral decorations and inscriptions on a gold background as well as the red leather doublures with elaborate geometric gold designs are distinctive sixteenth century styles and techniques.
The exact dates of sixteenth century manuscripts of Quran are very hard to determine, however, a similar manuscript which was produced during the same period of Safavid Shiraz is found in the Aga Khan collection which is attributed to the Calligrapher and illuminator, Abdallah Shirazi. Compare this to the Quran in the Husaini Arts collection.