A Passion for Persian Rugs
Persian Rugs have a Soul
An Authentic Persian Rug is a hand made rug from Iran. Iran is the former Persian empire.
Persian Rugs were initially made for the sake of living, usually to cover the floors of the nomadic tribesmen. This would offer them some comfort and protection from cold and damp floors. Of course, the progression of their skill has become internationally known and sought after. The Persian rug and all its weavers have passed down this art form throughout generations.
The rise of the Persian carpet owes much of it's success to Cyrus the Great. When he conquered Babylon in 539 BC, he was mesmerized by Persia's splendour and taken aback by its beauty. Many historians credit Cyrus for introducing the art of Carpet making. It is said that the tomb of Cyrus the Great was abundantly filled with very precious carpets.
One of the oldest carpets ever found is the Pazyryk carpet. This was discovered in 1949, by a Russian archaeologist, and is a perfect example of how this art has developed and become refined over centuries. The Pazyryk carpet was found in a block of ice and it's believed that this is the only reason why it was so well preserved. This famous rug is on display at the Hermitage Museum of Leningrad, St. Petersburg, Russia.
There is still great debate over the origin of this carpet, and where it was made. It's speculated that the Pazyryk carpet was made around 400 BC.
Carpet weaving is the most well known and widespread art in Iran. Persian carpets are world renowned for their spectacular patterns, quality of design and richness of colour. Each style of Persian indicates the region where it is made. Some of the most popular Persian rugs are, Isfahan, Tabriz, Kerman, Kashan, Heriz, Bijar, Gabbeh, Nian, here are some brief descriptions,
Isfahan Persian Rugs
Isfahan rugs are some of the most highly sought after rugs, especially in western countries, Mainly made of blues, indigo and rose tone colours on an ivory background. Their design is most often made up of a single medallion design, accompanied by palmettos and vines. Isfahan rugs are made with the highest quality wool, and sometimes silk. Their average knot density is 650,000 to 850,000 per square meter.
Tabriz Persian Rugs
Tabriz rugs are also known as Azerbaijan rugs. The most common design on these rugs is the Herati pattern, medallions, or pictorial.
Usually, a Tabriz rug is made with reds and blues, they may also have some earthy tones added. Ivory is usually used as a complementary colour. These rugs are highly dense and can range between 120-850 knots per square inch. Tabriz rugs are made with a cotton foundation and a wool pile.
Kerman- Kerman rugs often use the medallion design, some with added floral and a tree of life depiction. Colours can vary but most commonly can be found in shades of reds and blues, along with very soft earth tones. Kerman rugs are usually recognizable for their graceful curvilinear lines and intricate floral designs.
Kashan Persian Rugs
These carpets are usually found in light greens, ivory and red tones, although blue can be found in a newer Kashan rug. Kashan rugs are made of soft wool and have thin tight piles. There are some Kashan Rugs that are made exclusively of pure silk. Usually, a Kashan rug has the medallion design with some floral motifs.
Heriz Persian Rugs
These rugs are well known for being durable and hard wearing. Their design is tribal, and sometimes geometrically seem to adopt a Tabriz like pattern. Heriz rugs are most often large and heavy with a knot count ranging from 20-120 knots per square inch.
Bijar Persian Rugs
These rugs are unique in the fact that they use two wefts, making them extremely durable. A thicker weft is beaten down between the rows of knots alongside another thinner weft. This is to make the pile compact, so dense that it can stand vertically. These rugs should never be folded, only rolled. By folding them you risk cracking the foundation. Patterns vary on Bijar rugs, common colours used are navy, cherry red, light blues, brown, yellow, ocher, and orange, along with beige and ivory as accents.
Gabbeh Persian Rugs
Gabbeh rugs are usually very simple in design. They go very well in modern decor, lending themselves to a very contemporary look. Gabbeh rugs are known for their clean lines and geometric forms. The word Gabbeh actually means unfinished and given their long piles are often used for sleeping on. Some Gabbeh rugs will have very simple renditions of animal figures and the tree of life, but more often very simple lines.
Nain Persian Rugs
Nain rugs are made of very high-quality wool and often use silk as highlights for detail. Most often found in shades of blue and ivory. Most Nain rugs are known for their single medallion design. Some also feature very finely detailed floral patterns and leaves.
Persian carpets are found in palaces, mansions and museums worldwide. They will forever be an intrinsic part of Iranian culture. One cannot help but have a passion for Persians, to behold a glorious Persian rug is to gaze into the heart and soul of the Iranian people, woven with ingenuity and supreme beauty.
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- Tanya Shea