Persian rugs specifically refer to those rugs which are weaved in Iran. They are popular all over the world for their uniqueness, striking quality and everlasting features. The magnificence of Persian rugs surpasses all the boundaries, be it social, cultural or geographical. The art of weaving Persian rugs is not just limited to particular geographical vicinity; rather it is acknowledged and appreciated worldwide.
Origin of Persian Rugs
The origin of Persian rugs dates back to the ancient Greek times. The art of manufacturing Persian rugs can be traced back to 3000 BC to 1200 BC. Even in ancient preserved literature, one can find the description of carpets. In Homer’s epic poem titled as Iliad, ‘splendid carpets’ along with the description of magical lands are mentioned explicitly. The evolution in the art of making these Persian rugs is remarkably significant. It has evolved in diverse and complex ways retaining the originality and grandeur that are expected from Persian rugs. The art of Persian rugs has maintained the distinguishing features that are attributed to their distinct and unparalleled status.
Extravagance of Persian Rugs
There are several factors that make the Persian rugs preferable and desirable. One of the factors that explicitly distinguishes Persian rugs from other rugs is the use of natural fibers in them. Persian rugs only include natural fibers as their comprising components. They are made in multiple designs and patterns. It is significant to note here that these designs and patterns are not just portrayal of some kind of weaving or a combination of knots together. These unique designs and patterns, rather depict particular culture of the region where the rugs are manufactured.
Natural fibers are preferable and better than other synthetic fibers. This preference is based on several merits that natural fibers possess. Natural fibers cannot be controlled the way synthetic fibers are controlled. This is what makes the Persian rugs unique in their features. This is the reason that no two Persian rugs can bear resemblance with one another.
Particularly, the quality of color is better maintained in natural fibers. In synthetic fibers, the color is more likely to fade within short interval of time. Natural fibers, otherwise, are more likely to retain their original color for a longer period of time. In addition to that, the vast diversity that is prevalent in Persian rugs, further enhances their prevalence throughout the world.
The distinct qualities of Persian rugs can be attributed to their constituents and structural composition. The components that are used in their manufacturing process are always of natural fibers. The most common natural fibers that used in the production of Persian rugs include wool, silk, and cotton.
Wool is used mostly in rugs production process. Owing to its natural resilience against indentation and crushing of footsteps and furniture, wool is best for maintain the outlook new and fresh. In addition to that, stains and soil accumulated on the surface are not vividly visible in wool. Moreover, they are soft in nature and can be washed easily.
The other natural fiber used in manufacturing Persian rugs is silk. Due to the finest and delicate nature of silk, great amount of focus and high level of concentration is required to weave silk rugs into complex designs. Probably, this is the reason that can be attributed for its high price.
Cotton occupies intermediate position on the basis of characteristics as compared to wool and silk. Cottons fibers are also extensively used to weave Persian rugs. Cotton fibers are thinner than wool. Compared to silk, they are not as intricate. Cotton fibers are not as fine as silk fibers. They are friendly for our environment for their high resilience, durability and practically favorable properties.
Classification of Persian Rugs
Persian rugs can be classified into three categories on regional basis which are as given as follows:
- City Rugs
- Village Rugs
- Tribal Rugs
There are multiple types of Persian rugs that fall into the categories mentioned above. They are discussed as follows:
These rugs are intended for commercial purpose. Therefore, they are more likely to maintain best quality and grandeur that can be regarded as supreme as any ornamental rugs can be anticipated in this regard. Some of the major Persian rugs along with their defining characteristics are as given as follows:
1. Nain Rugs
These rugs are named after a historical city called Nain, whose buildings include some of the 10th century mosques. These rugs are distinct among Persian rugs because they are comprised of ivory, blue and pink colors. This unique combination of colors becomes the reason for its fascinating appeal and popularity among general masses. Using wool and silk fibers, floral motifs are designed in these rugs.
The traditional pattern flourished in the city and beyond. The knot-count in Nain rugs is enormously high. Approximately, one million knots are there in one square meter. The quality of these rugs is undoubtedly high and hence highly expensive too.
2. Isfahan Rugs
These rugs are named after a popular city of Iran that serves as a center of tourists’ attention. The city is of high culture and historical acclaim. The patterns used in these rugs are mostly derived from the historical places and buildings there including mosques and palaces.
Moreover, the floral patterns that are incorporated in their designs are inspired from the palaces’ gardens and tile work of rest of the city’s mosques. Silk and wool fibers are used in combination in the manufacturing process of Isfahan rugs.
Highly symmetrical and captivating designs are crafted in their designs. Keeping their subdued color schemes in view, Isfahan rugs are best suited for interior decoration and modern eclectic style.
3. Qum Rugs
The city of Qum is regarded as the home of rugs. These rugs are unmatched in their quality. The designs and patterns in these rugs are inspired from all over the country. In Persian rugs, they are the most coveted rugs with silk and wool weaving and high knot count. Their jewel-color schemes perfectly suit the interior home decorations.
4. Tabriz Rugs
Tabriz marks one of the biggest cities in Iran. Tabriz rugs are well known for their high quality as they are produced in one of the biggest city of the country. These rugs are characterized by their floral patterns which mostly represent gardens in their designs.
In these rugs, all three natural fibers i.e. wool, cotton, and silk are used in combination. These rugs use bold color schemes including red, gold and maroon.
Some of the major village rugs areas given as follows:
1. Bijdar Rugs
Bijdar rugs are one of the major village rugs which are weaved by villagers. At first, rugs weavers wash the wool and then dye it with colors. They share great skills in framing a masterpiece from their work and which they also take great pride in.
These rugs are regarded as king of rugs because the word Bijdar is often associated with durability and strength. The color schemes of these rugs include blue, red and earthy hues. The fish pattern is quite common in these rugs. They are best suited for spaces where heavy foot traffic is expected.
2. Ardabil Rugs
These rugs include medallions in diamond shape with light colored palettes and geometric patterns. The most famous rugs in Ardabil Rugs is termed as Mahi containing diamond shaped medallion with fish pattern. In adition to Mahi, some other rugs are also popular in Ardabil that include:
Due to their thin structure, these rugs are not preferred for high traffic areas. However, these rugs provide best layering for interior decoration.
Hamadan is also one of the oldest cities of Iran that manufactures best quality rugs. In these rugs a combination of red and blue colors is used to create a deep shade. Floral designs are commonly used in these rugs along with geometric patterns. Among them, Herati pattern is mostly utilized with medalliuon design in Persian style.
Originally, Hamadan is a city that constitutes various villages that are frequently engaged in rugs weaving. compared to Bijdar rugs, Hamadan rugs are better in quality, durability and sturdiness. These rugs are best suited for interior decorations.
4. Heriz Rugs
Nature favors the village Heriz in producing high durability in their rugs. The reason of this remarkable feature can be attributed to the fact that the soil of the village is enriched with copper that is flourished in water as well. The sheep drinks water containing high copper level that results in the development highly durable wool.
These rugs are characteristically recognized by their right angled medallion and rough texture. They are made up of wool which further enhances their sturdiness. The Heriz rugs also include the following rugs:
- Afshar rugs
- Sarab rugs
- Gorevan rugs
- Mehraban rugs
These rugs are best suited for areas with medium traffic possibilities.
5. Kerman Rugs
These rugs are intended for export purposes. Therefore, these rugs share great features including multiple varieties, and high tensile strength. They also have broad palette. Red color is dominantly used in these rugs with characteristic feature of having a central medallion.
In design, these rugs feature Damask rose motif. Conventional Persian designs with pictorial portrayals, flowers, and animals are incorporated for the taste for foreigners.
6. Kashan Rugs
With cotton and wool combination in its formation, these rugs feature one of the oldest Persian rugs. Their designs include arabesque motifs with floral patterns and medallion. There are some other rugs too, that Kashan feature with their particular defining uniqueness. They are as given as follows:
Some of the major Rugs are as follows:
1. Baktiyar Rugs
These rugs are also called as Bakhtiyari or bachtiyar. They use wool in manufacturing these rugs and treat them in such a way that enhances the durability properties of the rugs. The most renowned patterns are classified into four quadrants depicting flowers, plants and animals that include keshti or garden motif.
Due to their high resilience properties, they are best suited for areas with high traffic expectancy.
2. Afshar Rugs
These rugs are highly expensive because they are extremely rare. The most popular designs of these rugs are as follows:
- Diagonal rose
- Center and corner piece
- Three medallion
They are shiny in their outlook due to their best quality wool. They are multipurpose rugs which can be used for wall hangings as well as floor coverings.
3. Qahqai Rugs
The artisans of Qashqai are extremely skillful in producing rugs brilliant in their outlook, designs and patterns. In the manufacturing process of these rugs include the utilization of natural dyes. The require longer time to finish.
4. Gabbeh Rugs
They are mostly made by women portraying their traditional kinds of Persian rugs. They are inexpensive due to their course outlook.
5. Baluch Rugs
Traditionally, these rugs are famous as prayer mats. They can also be used as floor coverings and animal coverings. They are typically made in smaller sizes. They depict a darker shade with geometric shapes on them.
Persian rugs are diverse in their quality and quantity. There are multiple varieties of Persian rugs that portray typical cultural heritage and traditional values of the respective territory. The splendor and magnificence of these rugs flourish throughout the world for their everlasting quality and unmatched grandeur. The best thing about Persian rugs is their universal appeal that is equally captivating and enthralling for the whole world regardless of time and space.