Persian Rugs

  • Styles
  • Origin
  • Colour
  • Pattern
  • Material
  • Persian Rugs
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Overview

    Original Name: فرش ایران | Alternative Name(s): Persian Carpets

    A Persian carpet or Persian rug, also known as an Iranian carpet, is a thick textile produced in Iran (historically known as Persia) for home use, local sale and export for a range of practical and symbolic purposes. Weaving carpets is an essential aspect of Persian culture and Iranian art. The Persian carpet distinguishes out amongst the Oriental carpets produced by the countries of the “rug belt” because of the variety and complexity of its many designs.

  • What are Persian Rugs?
    Persian rugs, also known as Iranian carpets, are renowned for their intricate designs, exquisite craftsmanship, and rich cultural significance. Woven in various regions of Iran, these carpets have a long and storied history dating back thousands of years, making them one of the oldest forms of artistic expression in the world. The term "Persian rug" encompasses a wide range of styles and patterns, each reflecting the unique heritage and creativity of the diverse Iranian people.

    One of the distinguishing features of Persian rugs is the meticulous handcrafting process involved in their production. Skilled artisans, often working within traditional family workshops, use a variety of materials such as wool, silk, and cotton to create these masterpieces. The process typically begins with the selection of high-quality raw materials, with wool being the most common fibre due to its durability and natural resilience. Silk, on the other hand, is reserved for more luxurious and intricate designs.

    The art of Persian rug weaving is passed down through generations, with weavers learning the techniques and patterns from their elders. Each region in Iran has its own distinct style, influenced by local culture, geography, and historical events. Some of the most renowned Persian rug-producing regions include Tabriz, Isfahan, Kashan, and Kerman, each contributing its unique aesthetic to the world of carpet weaving.

    One of the most captivating aspects of Persian rugs is their diverse and elaborate designs. These designs often feature intricate floral patterns, geometric shapes, and elaborate motifs that tell stories or symbolise cultural and religious beliefs. The weavers infuse their creativity into every knot, creating a visual tapestry that transcends mere functionality and becomes a form of art. Persian rugs are not just floor coverings; they are expressions of the weavers' artistic talents and cultural heritage.

    The colours used in Persian rugs are vibrant and harmonious, reflecting the natural dyes derived from plants, minerals, and insects. These dyes not only enhance the visual appeal but also contribute to their longevity. The combination of high-quality materials, skilled craftsmanship, and natural dyes makes Persian rugs highly durable, often passed down through generations as valuable family heirlooms.

    Beyond their aesthetic value, Persian rugs hold deep cultural significance. They are often used in traditional ceremonies, weddings, and other important events in Iranian society. The art of rug weaving is considered a source of pride and identity, and many weavers take great care to preserve and promote their craft.

    In recent years, Persian rugs have gained international acclaim, becoming sought-after collector's items and decorative pieces in homes around the world. The intricate beauty, cultural heritage, and timeless appeal of Persian rugs make them not just floor coverings but also valuable works of art that transcend geographic and cultural boundaries.

  • How Old Are Persian Rugs?
    Persian rugs have a rich and ancient history that spans over two millennia. The tradition of carpet weaving in Persia (modern-day Iran) is believed to date back to at least 500 BCE. The art of rug making in the region evolved over the centuries, influenced by various cultural, artistic, and socio-economic factors.

    The earliest evidence of Persian rug weaving comes from archaeological discoveries in the Pazyryk Valley in Siberia, where well-preserved carpets dating back to the 5th century BCE were found in the burial mounds of nomadic Scythian warriors. These ancient pieces, known as the Pazyryk Carpet and the Pazyryk Rug, showcase sophisticated weaving techniques and intricate designs, indicating that the art of carpet making was already highly developed in ancient Persia.

    The city of Susa, in what is now southwestern Iran, is also recognised as one of the early centres of rug production. Archaeological findings suggest that rug weaving in Susa dates back to the Achaemenid period (550–330 BCE), with evidence of advanced textile and carpet-making techniques.

    Throughout Persian history, carpet weaving continued to flourish and evolve. The Safavid dynasty (1501–1736) is often considered the golden age of Persian carpet-making. During this period, royal patronage and the establishment of royal workshops in cities like Isfahan and Kashan contributed to the refinement of carpet designs and craftsmanship. Many of the iconic Persian rug designs and techniques that we recognise today have roots in the Safavid era.

    Persian rug production faced challenges during periods of political and economic instability, but it experienced a revival in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The demand surged in Western markets, and the industry saw a resurgence in quality and innovation.

    Today, Persian rugs continue to be highly prized and are considered both functional floor coverings and works of art. The diversity of styles, designs, and weaving techniques reflects the rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions that have evolved over thousands of years.

    The age and historical significance of some antique pieces contribute to their value, making them sought-after collector's items.

  • What are the Different Types of Persian Rugs?
    Persian rugs come in a diverse array of styles and designs, each originating from specific regions within Iran. The distinct characteristics are a result of the unique weaving techniques, patterns, and materials employed by skilled artisans. Here are some of the prominent types:

    Persian Tabriz rugs, originating from the historic city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran, are celebrated for their exceptional craftsmanship and intricate designs. They often feature a central medallion surrounded by elaborate floral or geometric patterns, showcasing the weavers' skill and artistry. The use of high-quality materials, including a blend of wool and silk, adds to the luxurious appeal.

    Known for their versatility, Tabriz rugs effortlessly complement various interior styles, making them sought after by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. The high knot density contributes to the fine detailing and precision in their designs. Antique Tabriz rugs, some dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hold particular value as collector's items due to their historical significance and unique artistic expressions.

    The influence of Tabriz rugs extends beyond their city of origin, impacting other rug-making regions and contributing to the rich tapestry of Persian carpet weaving. Whether appreciated for their cultural heritage or cherished for their aesthetic appeal, Persian Tabriz rugs remain timeless and treasured pieces in the world of traditional craftsmanship.

    Isfahan rugs, originating from the city of Isfahan in central Iran, are revered for their refined elegance and intricate craftsmanship. Renowned as one of the artistic centres of Persian carpet weaving, Isfahan has a rich history that has significantly influenced designs. Isfahan rugs often feature a central medallion surrounded by delicate floral motifs, creating a harmonious and visually appealing composition.

    The use of high-quality materials such as silk and wool contributes to the luxurious texture and durability of Isfahan rugs. These carpets are characterised by a high knot density, showcasing the meticulous skill of the weavers. The colour palette is typically subtle and sophisticated, with soft tones that enhance the overall grace of the design.

    Isfahan rugs are known not only for their aesthetic beauty but also for their cultural significance. Produced in workshops associated with royal patronage during historical periods like the Safavid dynasty, Isfahan rugs have maintained a reputation for being exquisite, collector's items. Today, they continue to be highly sought after by carpet enthusiasts and collectors for their timeless charm and artistic allure.

    Kashan rugs originate from the historic city of Kashan in central Iran, renowned for its longstanding tradition of producing exquisite Persian carpets. They are known for their fine craftsmanship, intricate designs, and historical significance. Woven with precision, Kashan rugs typically feature elaborate floral motifs and a central medallion on a background adorned with complementary patterns.

    Crafted using high-quality materials such as fine wool or a combination of wool and silk, Kashan rugs exhibit a luxurious texture and durability. The colour palette often includes rich reds, blues, ivory, and earthy tones, with natural dyes contributing to the timeless and vibrant hues.

    Kashan rugs hold a significant place in the history of Persian carpet weaving, dating back to the Safavid period. Royal workshops in Kashan contributed to the refinement of designs and weaving techniques, further enhancing the artistic value.

    Antique Kashan pieces, particularly those from the 19th and early 20th centuries, are often collector's items due to their historical importance and distinctive aesthetic appeal. Today, they continue to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike, embodying the timeless beauty and cultural heritage of Persian carpet craftsmanship.

    Kerman rugs, originating from the city of Kerman in southeastern Iran, are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship, intricate designs, and historical significance. Kerman has been a major centre for Persian rug production for centuries, and its carpets are highly valued for their artistic richness.

    Crafted using a combination of high-quality wool and, in some cases, silk, Kerman rugs exhibit a luxurious texture and vibrant colours. The weaving technique involves a high knot density, allowing for intricate patterns and fine detailing in the designs.

    The city's weavers are known for their precision and skill, creating carpets that are both durable and visually captivating.

    Kerman rugs often feature diverse designs, including floral motifs, intricate medallions, and detailed borders. The colour palette is expansive, ranging from soft pastels to deep, rich hues, with the use of natural dyes contributing to their enduring vibrancy.

    Antique Kerman rugs, especially those produced during the 19th and early 20th centuries, are considered valuable collector's items. They reflect the historical evolution of Persian carpet weaving, showcasing the influence of various artistic and cultural movements over time. Today, Kerman rugs continue to be admired for their beauty and craftsmanship, adding a touch of elegance to both traditional and modern interiors.

    Heriz rugs, originating from the Heriz region in northwest Iran, are renowned for their robust construction, bold designs, and distinctive coloration. These Persian rugs have earned a reputation for durability, making them a popular choice for both decorative and functional purposes.

    Characterised by a distinctive geometric pattern, Heriz rugs often feature a large central medallion surrounded by bold, angular motifs. The use of rich, earthy tones such as rust reds, blues, and ivory is a hallmark of Heriz pieces. The vibrant colour palette is achieved through the use of natural dyes derived from plants and minerals.

    Heriz rugs are handwoven with a relatively coarse knotting technique, contributing to their sturdiness and longevity. They often exhibit a large scale, with a wide central medallion and spacious corner designs. The bold geometric patterns and large motifs in Heriz rugs are reminiscent of tribal and village weaving traditions.

    Due to their durability and striking aesthetics, Heriz rugs have become sought-after collector's items. Antique Heriz rugs, often produced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are particularly prized for their historical significance and intricate craftsmanship. Whether in traditional or contemporary settings, they make a distinctive statement, adding warmth and character to any space.

    Shiraz rugs, named after the city of Shiraz in southwestern Iran, are a distinct category of Persian rugs known for their tribal and nomadic influences. Woven by the Qashqai and other nomadic tribes in the Fars province, they exhibit a rustic charm and a unique blend of cultural elements.

    Typically handwoven using wool, they feature bold and geometric designs, often characterised by stylised animal and human figures, as well as abstract motifs. The use of deep, rich colours such as reds, blues, and browns are typical of their vibrant and earthy aesthetic.

    Shiraz rugs are recognised for their irregularities and asymmetrical patterns, reflecting the nomadic weavers' spontaneous creativity. The knotting technique is coarser compared to some other Persian styles, adding to their tribal character.

    Often smaller in size, Shiraz rugs were historically crafted for personal use by nomadic communities. Today, their authenticity and tribal artistry make them popular among collectors and those seeking a touch of cultural heritage in their decor. Shiraz rugs bring a sense of history and tradition, telling the story of nomadic life in the rugged landscapes of southwestern Iran.

    Nain rugs, hailing from the city of Nain in central Iran, are highly esteemed Persian carpets known for their intricate designs, fine craftsmanship, and luxurious materials. These rugs are crafted in workshops with meticulous attention to detail, making them some of the most refined and sought-after Persian carpets.

    Nain rugs often feature a central medallion surrounded by delicate floral motifs, intricate arabesques, and a finely detailed background. The colour palette is typically soft and light, with shades of ivory, blue, and beige prevailing. Silk is commonly used alongside high-quality wool, imparting a luxurious sheen to the rugs.

    One distinctive characteristic of Nain rugs is their high knot density, resulting in a level of detail that is both exquisite and intricate. The weavers in Nain employ the Persian knot, allowing for precise patterns and a smooth texture.

    They are often categorised based on the number of knots per square inch, with finer pieces having a higher knot count. Due to their exceptional craftsmanship and elegance, Nain rugs are favoured for formal settings and are considered valuable collector's items. The city's long tradition of producing exquisite carpets has solidified Nain's reputation as a centre for top-tier Persian rug weaving.

    Qom rugs, originating from the city of Qom in central Iran, are among the most luxurious and finely crafted Persian styles. Revered for their intricate designs, exceptional craftsmanship, and the use of premium materials, Qom rugs hold a special place in the world of Persian carpet weaving.

    Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, Qom rugs often feature delicate floral patterns, medallions, and intricate borders. The use of silk, sometimes in combination with wool or cotton, imparts a lustrous sheen and enhances their luxurious texture. The fine knotting technique employed by Qom weavers allows for exquisite detail in the designs.

    Qom rugs are renowned for their high knot density, with some pieces having exceptionally fine knotting, resulting in a smooth and detailed surface. The city of Qom is particularly known for producing some of the finest silk carpets in the world.

    Due to the high level of skill involved in their creation and the premium materials used, Qom rugs are considered not only as functional floor coverings but also as valuable works of art. They are often sought after by collectors and enthusiasts for their beauty, rarity, and intricate craftsmanship that reflects the rich heritage of Persian rug weaving.

    Mahal rugs, also known as Sultanabad or Ziegler Mahal rugs, hail from the Arak region in west-central Iran, historically recognised as Sultanabad. Celebrated for their distinct designs, durability, and versatility, they are crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

    Featuring a harmonious fusion of traditional Persian elements, these rugs showcase intricate floral motifs, arabesques, and central medallions, often geometrically arranged with elaborate borders.

    The colour palette of Mahal rugs spans a wide spectrum, from rich reds and blues to soft pastels, with the use of natural dyes contributing to enduring and timeless hues. Renowned for their robust construction, Mahal rugs are crafted with high-quality wool, ensuring longevity and making them suitable for high-traffic areas.

    Mahal rugs seamlessly complement various interior design styles, making them sought after by collectors and homeowners alike. Antique Mahal rugs, produced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hold historical significance and feature unique designs influenced by Persian and Western aesthetics. With their enduring appeal and ability to enhance diverse spaces, Mahal rugs continue to be prized in the world of oriental carpets.

    Each type of Persian rug reflects the unique characteristics of the region in which it is produced, showcasing the diversity and rich cultural heritage of Iranian carpet weaving. Collectors and enthusiasts appreciate these rugs not only for their functional value but also for their artistic beauty and historical significance.

  • What is the Cultural Significance of Persian Rugs?
    Persian rugs hold profound cultural significance that extends beyond their aesthetic beauty. They are woven into the fabric of Persian history, art, and craftsmanship, representing a rich cultural heritage:

    Artistic Expression:
    Persian rugs are revered as expressions of artistic mastery. The intricate designs, patterns, and motifs found in these pieces reflect the creativity, skill, and aesthetic sensibilities of generations of Persian weavers. Each rug often tells a story, capturing the cultural influences of the region.

    Historical Narratives:
    Persian rugs can serve as historical artefacts, providing insights into the socio-cultural, religious, and artistic aspects of different time periods. The designs and motifs may convey historical events, religious symbols, or cultural traditions, creating a visual tapestry of Persian history.

    Cultural Identity:
    Persian rugs are integral to the cultural identity of Iran. They represent a deep connection to the land, traditions, and craftsmanship of the Persian people. Different regions within Iran have distinct rug-making styles, contributing to the diverse cultural tapestry of the country.

    Economic Importance:
    The rug-making industry has been a significant economic force in Iran for centuries. It has provided employment and sustenance to countless families, particularly in rural areas where weaving is often a traditional craft passed down through generations.

    Symbolism and Meaning:
    Persian rugs often incorporate symbolic elements and motifs that hold cultural and spiritual significance. Common symbols include floral patterns representing nature, geometric designs symbolising unity, and motifs inspired by Persian literature, poetry, and mythology.

    Tradition and Craftsmanship:
    Rug weaving in Iran has been a revered tradition passed down through families and communities. The craftsmanship involved in creating Persian rugs is considered a skill that reflects a deep cultural heritage. The meticulous process of hand-knotting and the use of natural dyes contribute to the authenticity and uniqueness of each rug.

    Cultural Exchange:
    Persian rugs have been sought after and admired by people around the world. They serve as ambassadors of Persian culture, fostering cultural exchange and appreciation. The global recognition and demand for Persian rugs contribute to the promotion of Iranian art and craftsmanship.

    Status and Prestige:
    Historically, Persian rugs were often associated with wealth, prestige, and social status. Elaborate pieces were commissioned by royalty and aristocracy, signifying not only luxury but also a commitment to supporting the arts.

    In essence, Persian rugs are woven with the threads of tradition, history, and artistic expression. Their cultural significance extends beyond their utilitarian function as floor coverings, making them cherished artefacts that embody the timeless beauty and heritage of Persian craftsmanship.

  • What are the Designs of Persian Rugs?
    Persian rugs boast a rich tapestry of designs that span a wide range of artistic expressions, reflecting the cultural, historical, and regional influences of their places of origin. The intricate patterns and motifs in Persian rug designs have captivated art enthusiasts and collectors for centuries. Here are some of the key designs:

    Floral Patterns:
    Floral motifs are among the most prevalent designs in Persian rugs. These designs often feature intricate depictions of flowers, vines, and foliage. Roses, lotuses, and other botanical elements are skillfully woven into the rug, creating a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing composition.

    Medallion Designs:
    Many Persian rugs exhibit a central medallion surrounded by complementary patterns and borders. The medallion serves as a focal point, and its shape and intricacy can vary widely. This design is commonly found in rugs from regions like Tabriz and Isfahan.

    Geometric Patterns:
    Geometric designs, characterised by precise shapes and lines, are prominent in Persian rugs. Heriz and tribal carpets often feature bold geometric patterns, including hexagons, diamonds, and stylised motifs. These designs contribute to a more rustic and tribal aesthetic.

    Pictorial Scenes:
    Some Persian rugs showcase pictorial scenes, depicting landscapes, hunting scenes, and everyday life. These narrative designs provide a glimpse into the cultural and historical context of the weavers. Qom and Isfahan rugs are known for their exquisite pictorial details.

    Prayer Rugs:
    Prayer rugs are designed with a mihrab, or prayer niche, pointing towards Mecca. They often include intricate geometric and floral patterns around the mihrab, creating a sacred space for prayer. Prayer rugs are produced in various regions, each incorporating its unique design elements.

    Hunting Designs:
    Rugs featuring hunting scenes are characterised by depictions of animals, often in pursuit by hunters on horseback. These designs, found in rugs from areas like Kashan and Tabriz, reflect the historical significance of hunting in Persian culture.

    Garden Designs:
    Garden designs are a recurring theme in Persian rugs, symbolising paradise on Earth. They often depict lush landscapes with flowing rivers, trees, and various flora. The depiction of gardens is common in carpets from cities like Isfahan and Kashan.

    Herati (Fish) Pattern:
    The Herati pattern, also known as the fish pattern, is characterised by a repeated motif of a flower enclosed by leaves and surrounded by small fish-like shapes. This classic design is found in rugs from various regions, showcasing its enduring popularity.

    All-Over Patterns:
    Some Persian rugs feature intricate, repeating patterns that cover the entire surface of the rug. These all-over designs can include a combination of floral motifs, geometric shapes, and other intricate elements. This design style is often associated with pieces from regions like Kerman and Nain.

    Border Patterns:
    Borders play a crucial role in framing the central field of a Persian rug. The borders often feature geometric or floral patterns, providing a structured and balanced frame for the overall design. The intricacy of the borders varies widely, adding to the visual complexity of the rug.

    In addition to these design categories, the use of colour, texture, and materials further contributes to the diversity of Persian rug aesthetics. The artistry of Persian rug designs
    continues to captivate admirers worldwide, making these carpets timeless and cherished pieces of cultural heritage.

  • How Do You Style a Room with a Persian Rug?
    Creating a stylish and cohesive look involves integrating these intricate and vibrant pieces into your overall interior design scheme. Here are some tips to help you achieve a harmonious look:

    Choose the Right Rug Size:
    Ensure the size of the Persian rug complements the dimensions of the room. A rug that is too small or too large may disrupt the balance of the space. Ideally, the rug should anchor the main furniture pieces in the room.

    Consider Colour and Pattern Harmony:
    Coordinate the colours with the existing colour palette in your room. If your room has a neutral colour scheme, a vibrant Persian rug can serve as a focal point. Alternatively, if your room has bold colours, opt for a rug with more subdued tones.

    Layering can add depth and texture to your space. Consider placing a smaller Persian rug on top of a larger, neutral rug for an interesting and eclectic look. Ensure that the patterns and colours complement each other.

    Blend with Furniture Styles:
    Persian styles can work well with various furniture styles. Whether your space is modern, traditional, or eclectic, there's likely a Persian rug that can complement your furniture. Consider the overall aesthetic and choose a rug that enhances the style of the room.

    Mixing Patterns:
    If you have other patterns in your room, such as on upholstery or curtains, choose a Persian rug that complements rather than competes with these patterns. Mixing patterns can be successful if there is a common colour thread or if one pattern is more subdued.

    Showcasing the Rug:
    Allow the Persian rug to shine as a focal point. Arrange furniture to highlight the rug, and choose complementary decor elements. Avoid overcrowding the space to ensure the rug remains a central feature.

    Accessorise Thoughtfully:
    Choose accessories that enhance the cultural and historical significance of the Persian rug. Consider incorporating elements such as throw pillows, wall art, or ceramics that resonate with the rug's heritage.

    Proper lighting is essential to showcase the colours and details of the Persian rug. Use well-placed lighting, such as table lamps or pendant lights, to enhance the visual impact of the rug.

    Remember that personal preference plays a significant role, so trust your instincts and select a Persian rug that resonates with your style. Whether you're aiming for a traditional, eclectic, or contemporary look, integrating a Persian rug can add warmth, character, and timeless elegance to your space.

  • Persian Rug Characteristics

    There are three different types of Persian rugs:

    • Nomadic/Tribal
    • Village
    • Traditional

    This is what distinguishes the types of Persian rugs available today. On the one hand, they’re all from Ancient Persia (modern-day Iran), which makes the bulk of them quite coveted, yet there were three separate “types” of fabrication. There are three lines of tradition running concurrently, which means there is a colour, pattern, style and type for practically everyone.

    Every handmade rug is a piece of art and reflects the skill of the artist. Master knotter Akbar Mahdie’s carpets have a knot density of 1.2 to 1.8 million knots per m2. Obtaining such a density necessitates a tremendous amount of labour, patience and talent, all of which are in short supply. Furthermore, only the best wool and pure vegetable colours are used, and the material is chosen according to precise criteria. Mahdi’s autographed carpets are made in his studio, where he and his three sons create the highest-quality Isfahan rugs in the world. This city, which is famed for its excellent Persian rugs and is located in northern Iran, has a population of roughly 1.6 million people.

    Tabriz silk rugs from master knotter Shirfar. Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan are all close to Tabriz, a major trading hub until a few decades ago. This city produces the most magnificent Persian silk rugs. The blue mosque, the statue of the great poet Khaqani, and the colourful mountains in front of the city are all highlights of the city and surrounding area. A central medallion is usually encircled by floral embellishments and patterns from Persian gardens in most Tabriz rugs. Because the city has a rich history of poets and artists, carpets may include an excerpt of a poem instead of a signature.

    The Iranian city of Qom is located around 150 kilometres south of Tehran, on the banks of the same-named river, which has a dried-up riverbed. This town, however, does not have a long-standing carpet-knotting heritage. In the 1930s, the first knotters arrived in the city from Kashan and established themselves. After a few years of incorporating themes and qualities from various carpet locations into the Qom carpets, they have developed their distinct style. Silk carpets from Qom are currently recognised worldwide as among the best and highest quality oriental rugs available.

    Many master knotters, for example, don’t manufacture anything less than 1,000,000 knots per m2 and create the finest works of art from pure natural silk and plant colours. Although such premium carpets are incredibly pricey, the natural silk and dense knotting allow the carpet to be set out with ease at home. In addition to silk rugs, professional knotters in Qom manufacture exceedingly high-quality wool rugs. These are frequently embellished with silk. Some of the carpets are also knotted using rare cork wool. Jamshidi, Erami, Kazemi, Mohammadi and Djeddi are some of Qom’s most prominent masters.

    Birds, flowers, other garden motifs and intricate mosaic patterns are featured in their works, which are all signed by the master knotter. Nain is a desert city in Iran, located in the country’s centre. The carpets knotted here have distinct qualities that set them apart from rugs from other parts of the world. They all have a central medallion surrounded by flowery decorations, almost without exception. The old town of Kashan is located south of Tehran, on the edge of the enormous Dasht-e-Kawir desert.

    This city had a golden age of rug commerce and weaving as early as the 16th century. It is also stated that this was the first time natural silk was used in manufacture, and merchants later transferred the knowledge to Qom. Kashan carpets, formerly regarded as the most delicate Persian rugs, have lost some of their lustre and beauty over time. Unique pieces by well-known masters, such as those by Mohtesham, are exceptionally valuable collectors’ goods. His rugs are now on display in museums and private collections across the world.

    Here you can find samples of rare Persian carpets with exceptionally fine knotting and a density of almost 1,000,000 knots per square metre, which are manufactured by skilled knotters. For a single very experienced and skilled knotter, such carpets can take over a year to make. As a result, they have a high rarity value.

    Old Persian and oriental rugs that had been in use for at least 20 to 50 years were then extensively refurbished to get a modern vintage look. They do not attempt to restore antique or semi-antique Persian carpets to their original state but rather design a new style. Oriental old carpets, for example, have been revamped and are nearly entirely discoloured. This reduces the pile to a bare minimum. After that, the carpets are dyed in modern new colours and patterns. As a result, an old hand-knotted oriental rug with a rich history has been transformed into a completely new carpet in the current vintage design.

  • Persian Rug History

    Nomadic Tribes, Village And Urban Workshops And Royal Court Factories Are All Responsible For Parallel Persian Rug Weaving Of Diverse Varieties. As A Result, They Represent Diverse, Concurrent Lines Of Tradition And Reflect Iran’s History And Varied Peoples. Rug Weaving In Persia Dates Back To 3000 BC – 1200 BC, When The Remarkable Skill Of Rug Weaving First Began. There Are Different Types Of Persian Rugs. The Most Famous Are Tabriz, Heriz, Kashan, Gabbeh, Isfahan, Nain, Sarouk, Mashad, Balouchi And Qum. Persian Carpets Can Be Traced All The Way Back To The Ancient Greeks, According To Documents. Homer (Who Composed The Epic “Iliad” In 850BC) Was The One Who Spoke Of Enchanted Regions And “Splendid Carpets.”

    In historical terms, this was sometime during the Bronze Age. And, as a result of this long and rich history, the styles of middle eastern carpets have changed dramatically over time. From humble beginnings (where Persian rugs were woven out of necessity to keep mountain people and travelling tribes warm and out of the wind) to the royalty of Persia demanding to see these majestic and “Splendid Carpets” adorn their floors and walls, all the way to the palatial homes of Kings and Queens in Europe and even further into the White House in America.

  • Origin: Iran

    Some of the most important cities and regions for Persian rugs in Iran (former Persia) are Tabris (Tabriz), Qum (Qom), Isfahan, Kashan (Keshan), Shiras (Shiraz), Kerman and Mashhad.

  • The History Of Antique Persian Rugs

    During the sixteenth century, the carpets woven in Isfahan’s Safavid palace manufactories were known for their ornate colours and artistic design. They are now prized in museums and private collections around the world. Their patterns and designs established an artistic legacy for palace manufactories, carried on throughout the Persian Empire and up to Iran’s last royal dynasty.

    Carpets woven in Tabriz, Kerman, Neyshabour, Mashhad, Kashan, Isfahan, Nain and Qom are distinguished by their unique weaving techniques and use of high-quality materials, colours and designs. Tabriz’s town manufacturers have played a key historical role in resurrecting the carpet weaving heritage after decades of decline. Fine wool, vibrant and intricate colours and specific, traditional patterns differentiate Iranian rugs woven by communities and various tribes.

    In contrast to the creative, pre-planned designs of larger companies, nomadic and small village weavers often produce rugs with bolder and sometimes rougher motifs, regarded as the most authentic and traditional rugs of Persia. Gabbeh rugs are the most well-known carpets from this genre.

    During periods of political turmoil or under the influence of commercial demands, the art and craft of carpet weaving has declined. During the second half of the nineteenth century, it was notably harmed by the introduction of synthetic colours. In modern Iran, carpet weaving is still a significant element of the economy.

    The rehabilitation of traditional dyeing with natural colours, the return of ancient tribal patterns and the invention of modern and unique designs woven in the centuries-old technique characterise modern manufacturing. Since ancient Greek writers first mentioned hand-woven Persian carpets and rugs, they have been recognised as items of high artistic and functional worth and reputation.

    Although pile-woven textiles are most commonly associated with the name “Persian carpet,” flat-woven carpets and rugs such as Kilim and Soumak and embroidered textiles such as Suzani are all part of the rich and varied history of Persian carpet weaving.

    The Pazyryk carpet is the oldest pile-woven carpet in the world. It was discovered in 1949 in the Pazyryk Valley of the Altai Mountains in Siberia, in the grave of a Scythian lord. The Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century BC, according to radiocarbon dating. This carpet features 36 symmetrical knots per cm2 and measures 183 by 200 centimetres (72 by 79 inches) (232 per inch2). The Pazyryk carpet’s advanced method reflects a long history of weaving progress and experience. It is thought to be the world’s oldest carpet. It has a deep red central field with two animal frieze borders that run in opposite directions and guard stripes.

    The core organisation of what would become the traditional oriental carpet pattern can be seen in the carpet’s design: a field with repeating patterns surrounded by an ornate main border and many subordinate borders. The inner area is made up of four and a half similar square frames organised in rows on a red background, each filled with identical star-shaped ornaments made up of centrally overlapping x- and cross-shaped patterns. A procession of deer is depicted on the inner main border, with men riding horses in the foreground and men leading horses in the rear. Saddlecloths for horses come in a range of patterns.

    Sergei Rudenko, who discovered the Pazyryk carpet, assumed it was made by the contemporary Achaemenids.

    It’s unclear whether it was made in the place where it was discovered or created by the Achaemenids. Its excellent weaving and intricate graphic design suggest that it was made at a time when carpet making was at its pinnacle.

  • Common Colours: Red, Ivory, Beige, Blue, Green, Grey

    The most popular colours are red, blue, black or green, sometimes paired with beige and grey.

  • Why Choose London House Rugs?

    Rugs are our speciality at London House Rugs. We’ve spent more than four decades honing our method and cultivating long-term, ethical connections with weavers all around Asia. A London House Rug goes through rigorous sourcing, manufacturing and finishing operations to ensure quality and beauty.

    We spend a lot of time in the Middle East looking for the most beautiful carpets and developing long-term ethical relationships with weaving cooperatives. In our store, we have a huge assortment of new and old carpets in various sizes.

    We design, manufacture and install carpets for individuals and companies in a range of settings. Please take a look at some of our recent projects to get a sense of the wide range of services we provide, including everything from a single hearth rug for your house to a hundred handcrafted carpets for a hotel rollout.

    Because we have over 40 years of experience, we can assist you in selecting the best rug for your space.

  • Common Designs: Afshan, Herati, Vase, Hunting

    Persian rug patterns are made with Symmetrical (Turkish) and asymmetrical (Persian) knots.

    A rug’s knotting is built on centuries of practice. As a result, distinct knotting styles have emerged in different parts of the world. Four main types of knots can be distinguished. The symmetrical knot is a strong knot that originated in Turkey. The asymmetrical knot, commonly known as the Persian knot, allows for more dense knotting. There are also Jufti and Tibetan knots, but they are less common nowadays.

    On average, an expert knotter creates 10,000 knots every day. The knotting is mainly done at home by women who weave on their looms.

    Thus, a beautiful carpet with 500,000 knots per square metre and a 6 square metre (3x2m) size takes approximately 300 working days to create. This illustrates the amount of manual labour necessary to make a handmade carpet.

  • Material: Cotton, Silk, Wool

    Because carpets are prone to use, deterioration and destruction by insects and rats, the origins of carpet weaving are unclear. Woven rugs are thought to have evolved from older felt floor coverings or a technique known as “flat weaving.” Flat-woven carpets have no pile and are created by closely interweaving the warp and weft strands of the weave. The process of weaving carpets evolved further into loop weaving. Weft strings are pulled over a gauge rod to create loops of thread facing the weaver in loop weaving.

    The rod is then removed, leaving the loops closed or cut over the protective rod, resulting in a rug resembling a real piled rug. Hand-woven piled rugs are made by individually knotting thread strings into the warps and cutting the thread after each knot.