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Persian Rug

Persia, the ancient Persian name of Iran, boasts to be the world’s most superior culture in carpet manufacturing. The art of weaving and dying is inherited and rugs of all styles and sizes are made here. The Turkish speaking part of the population often uses the Senneh knot. The carpets and rugs manufactured in the country are often named after the area where they are made, for example Hamadan, Mashad, Kerman, Shiraz and Bidjar. The carpets can also be named after different ethnic groups like the Ghashghais.

Persian Rugs

Persia, the ancient Persian name of Iran, boasts to be the world’s most superior culture in carpet manufacturing. The art of weaving and dying is inherited and rugs of all styles and sizes are made here. The Turkish speaking part of the population often uses the Senneh knot. The carpets and rugs manufactured in the country are often named after the area where they are made, for example Hamadan, Mashad, Kerman, Shiraz and Bidjar. The carpets can also be named after different ethnic groups like the Ghashghais.

The geometric belief

According to ancient traditions and beliefs, geometric figures and symbolic motifs protect the Persian rugs owner from evil and misfortune. In the case of tribal oriental rug designs, such as geometric animals, people, and everyday objects, antique handmade Persian rugs are a classic example of art imitating life and life imitating art, as the design-rich repertoire of Persian rug weavers continues to inspire artists and designers the world over.

Some popular names

Kurds

The Kurds are an ethnic group, mostly inhabiting the area spanning adjacent parts of south eastern (Turkey), western (Iran), northern (Iraq), and northern (Syria). The large population and the wide geographical distribution of the Kurds account for a varied production spanning a spectre from coarse and naÔve nomadic weavings to the most elaborate town manufacture carpets, finely woven like Senneh, or heavy fabrics like Bijar carpets. Although Kurdish rugs represent a traditional part of Persian rug production, they merit separate consideration.

Senneh Rugs

The city of Sanandij, formerly known as Senneh, is the capital of Persian Kurdistan. The Persian rugs produced here are still known, also in the Iran of today, under their trade name “Senneh”. They belong to the most finely woven Persian rugs, with knot counts up to 400 per square inch (6200/ dm2). The pile is closely clipped, and the foundation is cotton, also silk was used in antique carpets. Some fine Persian rugs have silk warps dyed in different colors which create fringes in different colors known as “rainbow warps” in the rug trade. Mostly blue colors are used in the field, or a pale red. The predominant pattern used to be the Herati pattern, with a lozenge-shaped central medallion also filled with repeating Herati patterns on a different background color. More realistic floral patterns are also seen, probably in rugs woven for export to Europe.

Bijar Rugs

The town of Bijar lies around 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Sanadij. Together, these two towns and their surrounding areas have been major centers of Persian rug production since the eighteenth century. Carpets woven in Bijar and the surrounding villages show more varied designs than Senneh rugs, which has led to the distinction between “city” and “village” Bijar rugs. The Bijar rug is distinguished by its highly packed pile, which is produced by a special technique known as “wet weaving”, with the help of a special tool. Warps, weft and pile are constantly kept wet during the weaving process. When the finished carpet is allowed to dry, the wool expands, and the fabric becomes more compact. The fabric is further compacted by vigorous hammering on nail-like metal devices which are inserted between the warps during the weaving. Alternate warps are moderately to deeply depressed. The fabric is further compacted by using wefts of different thickness. Usually one of three wefts is considerably thicker than the others. The knots are symmetrical, at a density of 60 to over 200 per square inch.

The colors of Bijar rugs are exquisite, with light and dark blues, and saturated to light, pale madder red. The designs are traditionally Persian, with predominant. Herati, but also Mina Khani, Harshang, and simple medallion forms. Frequently the design is more rectilinear, but Bijar rugs are more easily identified by their peculiar, stiff and heavy weaving than by any design. Bijar rugs cannot be folded without risking to damage the foundation. A specific feature is also the lack of outlining, particularly of the smaller patterns. Full-size “sampler” carpets showing only examples of field and border designs rather than a fully developed carpet design are called “vagireh” by rug traders, and are frequently seen in the Bijar area. New Bijar rugs are still exported from the area, mostly with less elaborate Herati designs and dyed with good synthetic dyes.

Kurdish village Persian rugs

From a Western perspective, there is not much detailed information about Kurdish Persian rugs, probably because there is insufficient information to identify them, as they have never been specifically collected in the West. Usually, Persian rugs can only be identified as “northwest Persian, probably Kurdish”. As is generally the case with village and nomadic rugs, the foundation of village rugs is more predominantly of wool. Kurdish sheep wool is of high quality, and takes dyes well. Thus, a rug with the distinct features of “village production”, made of high-quality wool with particularly fine colors may be attributed to Kurdish production, but mostly these attributions remain educated guesswork. Extensive use of common rug patterns and designs poses further difficulty in assigning a specific regional or tribal provenience. A tendency of integrating regional traditions of the surrounding areas, like Anatolian or north western Persian designs was observed, which sometimes show distinct, unusual design variations leading to suggest a Kurdish production from within the adjacent areas. Also, north western Persian towns like Hamadan, Zenjan or Sauj Bulagh may have used “Kurdish” design features in the past, but modern production on display at the Grand Persian Exhibitions seems to focus on different designs.

The Shishbuluki Persian rugs are distinguished by small, central, lozenge-shaped medallions surrounded by small figures aligned in concentric lozenges radiating from the center. The field is most often red, details are often woven in yellow or ivory. Darashuri rugs are similar to those of the Shishbuluki, but not so finely woven.

As the truly nomadic way of life has virtually come to an end during the twentieth century, most Persian rugs are now woven in villages, using vertical looms, cotton warps, or even an all-cotton foundation. They use a variety of designs associated with the persian tradition, but it is rarely possible to attribute a specific rug to a specific tribal tradition. Many patterns, including the “Qashqai medallion” previously thought to represent genuine nomadic design traditions, have been shown to be of town manufacture origin, and were integrated into the rural village traditions by a process of stylization. The revival of natural dyeing has had a major impact on Persian rug production. Initiated in Shiraz during the 1990s by master dyers as Abbas Sayahi, particularly Gabbeh rugs raised much interest when they were first presented at the Great Persian Exhibition in 1992. Initially woven for home use and local trade, coarsely knotted with symmetric knots, the colors initially seen were mostly natural shades of wool. With the revival of natural colors, Gabbeh from Fars province soon were produced in a full range of colors. They met the Western demand for primitive, naive folk art as opposed to elaborate commercialized designs, and gained high popularity. In the commercial production of today, the Gabbeh rug patterns remain simple, but tend to show more modern types of design.

Luri Persian Rugs

The Lurs live mainly in western and south-western Iran. They are of Indo-European origin. Their dialect is closely related to the Bakhtiari dialect and to the dialect of the southern Kurds. Their rugs have been marketed in Shiraz. These Persian rugs have a dark wool foundation, with two wefts after each row of knots. Knots are symmetrical or asymmetrical. Small compartment designs of repeating stars are often seen, or lozenge-shaped medallions with anchor-like hooks on both ends.

Afshari Persian Rugs

The Afshar people are a semi-nomadic group of Turkic origin, principally located in the mountainous areas surrounding the modern city of Kirman in southeastern Iran. They produce mainly Persian rugs in runner formats, and bags and other household items with rectilinear or curvilinear designs, showing both central medallions and allover patterns. Colors are bright and pale red. The flat-woven ends often show multiple narrow stripes.

Beluch Persian Rugs

The Beluch people live in eastern Iran. They weave small-format persian rugs and a variety of bags with dark red and blue colors, often combined with dark brown and white. Camel hair is also used.

We’ve Got your Decorations Covered 🙂

The Rug Mall carries Persian rugs in different colors and textures from over a wide variety of leader Mills all over the world, innovating design with a beautiful touch of Old-School craftsmanship. They are reinventing Persian rugs in fashion-forward ways that make them feel less country and more up-to-date. Happy Decorating!

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