Sadaf “mother of pearl” Design in Rubab

mother of pearl

Rabab Unique Sadaf mother of pearl Design in Afghani Rubab

The word sadaf is used to call mother of pearl specially in Rubab instrument, but what means sadaf?

Sadaf name meaning is “Light” , In Rubab its is used to showcase the wood of rubab, Sadaf word in English is called “Mother of Pearl”

The name Sadaf is primarily a female name of Arabic origin that means Seashell. A seashell or sea shell, also known simply as a shell, is a hard, protective outer layer usually created by an animal or organism that lives in the sea, in rubab it is used to make some unique designs.

Animals such as decorator crabs and octopus use shells as camouflage and many fish use shells as hiding places to avoid predators.

Some FAQ about “Sadaf”:

Question :

Do you know if there is a word to named the inlay action? We only say “sadaf”: it means the material and the action to do it.

Answered : The word to name the inlaying action is “Sadafkâri”. as verb: Sadafkâri kardan.

In Farsi/Dari/Persian Sadaf is the actual Shell – or long is “mother of pearl shell” — the act of doing the inlay of mother of pearl shell is called – SadafKaari – literally meaning “shell work”. It is similar to other types of artwork, for example: “RizehKaari” = “fine work”, “Kandekaari” = “carving”.. the “kaari” is added to the end of the word.


Nacre, also known as mother of pearl, is an organic–inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also the material of which pearls are composed. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent

Hope this answers the question somewhat.

Question :

What word do they use to call half sadaf, full sadaf?

Answered :

Half sadaf design mean “Design on half front finger board of Rubab specially up to 5th fret”

Question :

Does sadaf have affect on Rubab voice? is sadaf increase the echo or voice of Rubab.


No sadaf is only for design purposes, it increase the beauty of Rubab but also increase the cost of Rubab.

Question :

Do machine make design on Rabab?


No sadaf design on Rubab is totally handmade till this blog writing in 2023. we can make design with using machine but for just name writing or a simple logo making but mostly Rubab that we see in action is hand made design.

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