Rug Selection


We have a wide variety of rugs which are divided into the following 3 categories. Below you will find descriptions and information regarding each rug type and category.

 

Fine Persian

Fine Persian rugs are outstanding representations of handcrafted artwork.  Most have a high knot count and are blends of wool and silk or purely silk. The finesse of the material lets the weaver do their best work.  Please enjoy some of our favorite selections.

 

Tabriz

Locate in north west Iran at the Azerbajani border, Tabriz has been a large and worldwide famous carpet making center in the Iran and the world. It played a significant role in development the rich traditions of the decorative and applied arts. The art of Tabriz carpet was in its zenith in the 12th-16th centuries. About 200 Tabriz school masterpieces of the classical or "golden" period of the 14th century are characterized by a harmonic merge of the arts of miniature paintings and weaving, by a high level of craftsmanship demonstrated by artists and carpet weavers. The carpet making art was passed on from generation to generation and was considered the most valued heirloom. The traditional topics for theTabriz carpets are the ornamental patterns, with the following dominant background colors: cream, red or navy blue. The most typical for this school are rugs and carpets grouped under the common name “Lachak turanj”. In the middle of the center field and in the corners of the carpet (“lachak”)(Persian: لچک triangle) there are “turanj”(Persian: ترنج Citron). The turanj in the center of the carpet is a symbol of the Moon, and the pattern formed by lozenges with the toothed leaves on the edges symbolizes the scales of the fish, which rise to the surface of the water at midnight to admire the Moon reflection. The origin of this composition dates back to the 9th-10th centuries. Often the topics for the Tabriz carpets are drawn from the works of the great Oriental poets. The carpets often depict the scenes of falconry or images of a ferocious lion. Well known are also Tabriz carpet-pictures with images of fragments of palaces and mosques, scenes of battles. Often, in creation of this or that ornamental pattern carpet weavers were inspired by the hand-painted covers of ancient books. As our family is originally from Tabriz we have some amazing specimens.

Isfahan

These creations are wool and silk on super fine silk foundations. Rugs from Isfahan have very recognizable patterns. Isfahan creates fine quality rugs due to the influence of supervised weaving production by master weavers called Usta. Not until 1920s, between two world wars, was weaving again taken seriously by the people of Isfahan. They started to weave Safavid designs and once again became one of the most important nexus of the Iranian rug weaving industry. Isfahani carpets today are among the most wanted in world markets, having many customers in western countries. Isfahani rugs and carpets usually have ivory backgrounds with blue, rose, and indigo motifs. Isfahani rugs and carpets often have very symmetrical and balanced designs. Most likely to have in the design are  a  medallion that is surrounded with vines and palmettos. These rugs and carpets usually have excellent quality. The most famous master weaver in Isfahan is Seirafian.

Nain

Nain as a weaving center began in the 1920's. Nain is a city in Iran in-between Isfahan and Yazd. It is the collection point for the rugs called Nain which are actually made over a large area. The average from over 300 knots per square inch to over 600.  They are closely clipped for better look.In some instances silk warps are used. In higher and finer knotted rugs, kork (baby lamb wool) is used for pile. Using touch of silk around the flowers and arabesques is common. Typical colors being cream, blue and some accent colors of green and red.

Portrait Rugs

Before Islam, rug weaving was one of the popular crafts of Iran and had very rich pictorial rugs. After Islam, in Iran, rug weaving, like most other arts and crafts, confirmed itself to the conditions and exposed the needs of that time in non-pictorial ways. "Cutting the roots of idolatry", which was common in Arab tribes, was the reason of Islam for prohibition of making portraits. Without any exception, this prohibition was done in all areas, ruled by Muslims. So, country like Iran, which had rooted culture and skillful in making portraits, had to obey this regulation.

Iranian accepted Islam and accepted all conditions. Not quite a century later movement against Arab oppression and central government were started. This opposition was presented in art and Persian language, till Safavid era. This, vastly, affected on cultural appearance and made art, craft and culture of Iran to revitalize. Iranian's sight to Islam, rules, laws and principally to nature was more freely and acceptable, and this freedom was very effective in flourishing of pictorial arts and crafts from Safavis era on. The specific species of it is portrait rugs that not only is existed in Iran, but it is the product of Iranian Shiite weavers. There is no specimen of rug weavers of other religions, otherwise some rugs woven by Armenian weavers. In 16th and 17th centuries, the first signs of pictorial subjects, woven on some rugs, were seen. They were very small and only had motifs of flowers, paisley, birds, animals and sights of hunting or parties of kings and princes. 20th century must be known as reveal of portrait making in Iran. Since, in this century, there was considerable attention toward portrait and naturalism; portrait making was attracted by artists and craftsmen, as public movement. Print curtain makers were the first artists, who joined to portrait movement and instead of using usual flowers, they printed pictures of old and classic tales and myth of Iran on curtains, in large scale, such as Khosro and Shirin, Leili and Majnoun. Printed portrait curtains found their ways to people's houses; urban rug weavers were interested in and very soon, this became their patterns. Photo and photography in Iran were coincident with the flourish of portrait rugs, at the first years of Nassereddin Shah era (1886-1938). Photography came to Iran by Dar-ol-Fonoun teacher at Nassereddin Shah era. Portrait rugs were owned by the rich and chiefs of tribes (Khan) and villages (Kadkhoda).

The reason was different cost of portrait rugs, with other rugs. Difference in cost had several reasons:

  1. Only expert weavers, who were master in using proportions and specific colors, can weave these rugs;
  2. Using of pattern by urban weavers was another reason for increase of the cost;
  3. Patterns of these rugs must be drawn by expert drawers;
  4. Patterns must be in full size (equal to rug);
  5. Using special colors for different parts, for example pink for face and hands, or dark blue and black for eyes, hair, eyebrows and... was another problem of weaving portrait rugs... These cases are happened to urban weavers, while tribe weavers are not involved in such problems. They freely weave portraits without checker patterns or conventional colors.

Nevertheless, weaving portrait rugs by tribe weavers was not simple work. Usually, these rugs were woven by expert and talented weavers, in spite of not using pattern, weaver must be familiar to color and its proportions and makes appropriate decision for every knot or wale. These were factors of low production of portrait rugs, but another important reason is that West is not interested in these rugs and they are not exported. The point of view of portrait rug painters was similar to that of other painters. In spite of unity in subject, materials and techniques of rug weaving are not the same as those of painting and these cause many changes in final products. "Dastour" and "Vagireh" rugs are placed in front of weavers, as general instruction and weaver takes needed ideas for his rug, by looking at them. What he (she) is weaving, usually, is different from his model. Sometimes changes and displacement of colors and designs make it a new one. These are the most important differences between urban and village rugs. In fact, urban weaver is doer and everything is prepared and scheduled before his (her) hand, whereas village or tribe weaver makes changes, which he (she) know are right in his weaving. Although, his (her) product is taken from another subject, it has new and inventive content. Size of portrait rugs of every region has direct relation to architecture of that region, especially height of ceilings and shelves. Limited number of rugs are larger and used for furnishing. Mostly, their sizes are in proportion to walls of houses. Smaller rugs are used on shelves, which have particular place in traditional architecture of Iran. They adopted nature of every picture, with that of rug skillfully, so it seems that they are created for each other. Harmony and symbiosis of design and picture, which are the most important factors of success or un-success of them in pictorial rugs, are not common in urban pictorial rugs. Work has been done on margins, corners, flowers and paisley, by using colors and motifs; it is done on new medallion, which is the picture. To make it productive, very traditional colors and motifs are used in always are needed.

Pictorial rug weavers mostly wove pictures of kings. Not only number of these rugs are highest, but they are the most variety in different compositions. "King Design" rugs have the longest history, from "King Houshang" rugs, with mythic history to Achaemenid, Sassanid and other kings of past centuries. Among pictorial rugs of Iran, there are many rugs with different tale subjects. Most of these rugs are prepared by urban weavers and tribe and village weavers have limited share in this field. Many of urban weavers are familiar with different tales and myths, so the most tale rugs are woven in towns. Rug weavers have not weave portrait of prophets and saints, as they are worried about putting rugs on the floor; so, the avoid to weave portrait of sacred, not to sin. Considerable numbers of portrait rugs are belonged to dervish. "Dervish Design" rugs are known as "Leopard Skin". Subjects and composition of them, more or less, are alike. In all of them, daily equipments and dervish's traditions are seen so attractively.

Qum

The city of Qum lies near the center of Iran and is to the south of Teheran, the capital of Iran. Depending on who you asked, Qom is also known as Qum and Ghom. Often referred to as a holy city, it contains several important religious sites and is known for it's religious history and monuments as well as for the super high end pure silk rugs. Like many other types of rugs, the Qom rugs come in a variety of quality ranging from the low quality wool rugs with about 80 kpsi to the very high end pure silk Qom rugs, which can have over 1200 kpsi. Unlike most other rug weaving centers in Iran, there are however not many Qom rugs that are made in the middle and you will find that most are either very cheap or very expensive. Even though the majority of Qum rugs are made of the lower quality wool type, it is the pure silkcarpets that have earned such a high reputation as being some of the finest Persian rugs. Typically,  the pure silk Qom rugs start at about500 kpsi and the better quality pieces should have about 700 kpsi like the ones you see in my galleries. Qom carpets can have well over 1000 kpsi, but they are extremely rare and very expensive even by pure silk standards.
Like most city rugs, the designs and colors can greatly vary and the Qum rugs are actually very similar to Tabriz carpets in that they will often use different patterns that are not very traditional.

Elam

Elam is one of the oldest cities in the world and was historically very important in ancient Samaria. Semi nomadic tribes around the Kurdistan Mountains in the western part of Iran create magnificent hand woven rugs and rug runners in designs that portray their traditions and culture. The district of Khamseh is a center for the production of Elam rugs and rug runners for a number of tribes in the region including the Senjabi, Herki, Jaffid, and Gurani. The most common knotting technique used for Elam rugs and rug runners is the asymmetrical Persian knot. Although the symmetrical Turkish knot is also used, it is much less frequent.

 


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Traditional Persian Rugs

The practical art of handmade rugs have been a part of Persian culture for over 4,000 years. Our traditional selections are of fine quality and made in the time honored methods  in wool on either cotton or wool foundations.  Antique Rugs  When rugs reach 70 years they are considered antique. Each rug is as individual as a fingerprint and as the age they become more beautiful and  refined and evocative of their history.  Our unique pieces are elegant and would add history to any home.  

Bijar Rugs  

Bijar rugs, known as the Iron Rugs of Iran, are mostly considered village rugs because whether woven in the town of Bijar itself or its surrounding villages, they are woven inside houses rather than workshops. The pattern of Bijar rugs is a combination of curvilinear and geometric with curvilinear being dominant. The favorite colors of Bijar weavers consist of navy, cherry red, brown, light blue, pink, yellow, ocher, orange, beige and ivory. The symmetrical (Turkish) knot is mainly used although the asymmetrical (Persian) knot is seen as well.The most typical pattern is the herati design. The Herati motif is a very common repeated field design which normally consists of a flower centered within a diamond surrounded by curved leaves parallel to each side of the diamond. This can be in various forms in either geometric or curvilinear designs. 

Kashan

Kashan the home of Kashan Rugs is an oasis town on the old north/south caravan route along the west edge of the Dasht-e Kavir desert. Visibility:   KASHAN carpets and rugs have the greatest curvature and visibility among those of the cities in central of IRAN. They all have similar patterns--a single medallion in the center and Persian floral motifs, including arabesques and flower-stems, palmettos, rosettes, blossom and leaf motifs, forming one of the densest patterns. KASHAN rugs and carpets are one of the finest looking carpets on the market. Colors typically are  Ivory, light green and red predominate. Other colors such as soft green and blue are found in newer carpets. Kashan rugs and carpets have soft wool and a thin, tight pile. 

Ardebil

Are colorful tribal rugs. Some  rugs tend to look like Persian copies of Caucasian designs. The reason for this is that when the Russians expanded into the Caucasus in the day of the Christian Czars many Shia Moslems moved out of the newly Russian areas and into present day Iran. Our favorite choices are for runners from this area. 

Heriz

Rugs are from the area of East Azerbaijan in northwest Iran, northeast of Tabriz. Such rugs are produced in the village of the same name in the slopes of Mount Sabalan. Heriz carpets are extremely durable and hard-wearing and they can last for generations.  Such rugs age well and become more and more beautiful with age. Part of the reason for the toughness of Heriz carpets is that Mount Sabalan sits on a major deposit of copper. Traces of copper in the drinking water of sheep produces high quality wool that is far more resilient than wool from other areas.[citation needed]Heriz rug weavers often make them in geometric, bold patterns with a large medallion dominating the field. Such designs are traditional and often woven from memory. 

Mashad

Mashad is the capital city of the province of Khorasan in northeastern Iran. This holy city is famous for the shrine of the eighth Shiite Imam, Imam Reza.Mashad is also a trade center for the rugs of its neighboring villages and tribes such as Baluchis and Turkomans of Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Majority of Mashad rugs are woven in workshops; others are made on home-based looms in surrounding villages. Mashad mostly produces large rugs.  

 


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Tribal rugs:

Since the beginning of time tribal rugs have been functional and beautiful, They have inspired passionate collectors with their cultural symbols and bold colors. Many of these creations are made on the road as they are tribal and can be nomadic. Rich with culture they speak an unspoken language.

Bakhtiāri:

Made  in certain villages southwest of Eṣfahān in central Iran. Bakhtiari rugs are symmetrically knotted on a foundation of cotton. The coloring and patterns of these rugs are bold. The field is usually divided into compartments that may be rectangular or produced by an ogival lattice. Occasionally there are tree or medallion decorative schemes. The palette tends to be darker than is found on most Iranian rugs, with much use of yellow.  Most commonly depict what you would see looking out your window into your garden.

Balouch Rugs

Balouch Rugs from Baluchistan, are all collectible examples of nomad art. Each piece utilizes the design skills and showcases the individuality of each weaver. Each rug is hand-woven using beautiful vegetable dyed Baluchi wools. Because of the small size of these pieces different weaving techniques and design elements are used which are rarely found in the larger rugs of this region. These pieces were woven with utility in mind. We see saddlebags, animal trappings, tent trappings, grain bags and small rugs, all woven to be used and embellish the daily lives of these nomads. In our homes of today these small pieces also have many uses. They make beautiful floor or bench pillows, sofa pillows,  and wall hangings.

Chinese Rugs

Hand-knotted rugs have been made in China for centuries. There are reports of rugs being woven in north-central China, in the area around Ningxia, as early as 1696. By the 1860's there were workshops in Beijing making rugs for the imperial court. In the 1920's and 30's many rug were produced for the American market in rug "factories" in Hebel and Shandong provinces. These rugs were woven by hand, but the workshops were highly organized with foreign companies controlling all phases of the production. Many rugs from this period had plain grounds of pearl grey or navy with wide solid-color borders and simple floral spray design elements. The 1950's and 60's saw the Chinese government take over the carpet factories, and the development of thick, carved rugs from China in "Chinese" designs and pastel colors. Most of these rugs are made in state-owned co-operatives in and around Tianjin By the late 1980's, some factories began to produce more finely woven rugs in Persian patterns.

Hamedan

The rugs of the Hamadan Region are only now being recognized for their rightful place in Persian rugs as there are so many areas in Hamadan it is more like a country than a region.  1500 distinct rug weaving villages in Hamadan each of which produced at least two styles of rug. One of the reasons for the variety is the history of the people of the region. When Hamadan history comes up everyone seems to want to start back in the days of Ectabana and Queen Esther (Hadassah) and her uncle Mordechai. In the 1720s (1138 AH) Nadir Shah pushed the Turks out of the Hamadan region. With the Persian victory many of the Sunni tribes and villagers retreated to Turkish controlled lands.  The majority of Hamadan rugs have a geometric pattern. The most common designs consist of medallion-and-corner, and all-over boteh or herati. Diamond and hexagon medallions are common. Often the all-over herati designs have a narrow field in the shape of a large octagon creating corners. There are many variations each with its own unique flavor.

Ghashghai:

Qashqai  also spelled Ghashghai, Ghashghay, Gashgai, Gashgay, Kashkai ,Qashqay, Qashqa'i and Qashqai: قشقایی) are the largest group of nomadic pastoralists people of Azeri descent who mainly live in the provinces of Fars, Khuzestan and southern Isfahan on the territory of modern Iran, especially around the city of Shiraz in Fars. They speak the Qashqai language which is a member of the Turkic family of languages and is very close to Azerbaijani language. The Qashqai were originally nomadic pastoralists and many continue this tradition to today. The traditional nomadic Qashqai travelled with their flocks each year from the summer highland pastures north of Shiraz roughly 480 km or 300 mi south to the winter pastures on lower (and warmer) lands near the Persian Gulf, to the southwest of Shiraz. The majority, however, have now become partially or wholly sedentary. The trend towards settlement has been increasing markedly since the 1960s.

Indian

There is not a rug-making town in all India today where the native patterns are used. The Indians have totally catered to market tastes and do copies of other traditional rugs in lower quality materials and more industrialized process..resulting in quicker manufacturing times. In this way Indian rugs very much follow trends. They are sturdy durable rugs, with a vast array of styles. The Indian carpets are well known for their designs with attention to detail and presentation of realistic attributes. The carpet industry in India flourished more in its northern part with major centers found in Kashmir, Jaipur, Agra and Bhadohi. Indian carpets are known for their high density of knotting. The Carpet Industry in India has been successful in establishing social business models directly helping in the up liftment of the underprivileged sections of the society especially in Jaipur.

Pakistani

At present, hand-knotted carpets are among Pakistan's leading export products and their manufacture is the second largest cottage and small industry.  The most popular motifs are gulls, medallions, paisleys, traceries, and geometric designs. Especially notable are the vegetable dyes wool that is handspun commonly called Peshawar or Chobi.After the partition of British India, Muslims migrated in the Area called Pakistan and started manufacturing of carpet in Sangla Hill, a small Town of District Sheikhupura. Chaudary Mukhtar Ahmad son of Maher Janda introduced and taught this art to locals and immigrants. Sangla Hill is now a focal point in Carpet Industry in Pakistan. Almost all the exporters and manufacturers who are running their business at Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi have their area offices in Sangla Hill.

Turkman

Traditionally originating in Central Asia (especially in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan). It is useful to distinguish between the original Turkmen tribal rugs and the rugs produced in large numbers for export mainly in Pakistan and Iran today. The original Turkmen rugs were produced by the Turkmen tribes, for various purposes, including tent rugs, door hangings and bags of various sizes. They were made entirely from wool, with geometrical designs that varied from tribe to tribe. Most famous are the Yomut, Ersari, Saryk, Salor, and Tekke. Until the 1910s in these rugs vegetable dyes and other natural dyes were used to produce the rich colors. The rugs produced in large numbers for export in Pakistan and Iran and sold under the name of Turkmen rugs are mostly made of synthetic colors, with cotton warps and wefts and wool pile. They have little in common with the original Turkmen tribal rugs. In these export rugs, various patterns and colors are used, but the most typical is that of the Bukhara design, which derives from the Tekke main carpet, often with a red or tan background (picture). Another favorite is derived from the Ersari main carpet, with the octagonal elephant's foot design.

Afghan

There has recently been a surge in demand for Afghan carpets, especially the richly colored Khal Mohammadi patterns. The carpets are made in Afghanistan, as well as by Afghan refugees who reside in Pakistan and Iran. Afghan rugs are usually inexpensive. Famous Afghan rugs include the Shindand or Adraskan (named after local Afghan villages), woven in the Herat area, in western Afghanistan.

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