Tribal Rugs & Carpets of Persia (Iran)


The primary tribal rugs weaving areas of Iran (Persia) are mostly known by the city names from where the typical rich and beautiful wool and silk rugs with curvilinear floral designs are made. These cities include Isfahan; Nain; Qum; Tabriz, Mashad, etc. The woven products of this territory have characteristics that are similar to one another and are strikingly different than other weaving areas. The city Persian carpets are distinctly floral, representing leaf, bud and flower and show a tendency to naturalistic drawing with graceful and often intricate lines. Their color schemes of delicate tones are not only beautiful, but are in perfect harmony. The similarity of Persian rugs is partly due to past influence political, as well as the common ties of race and religion. All of this territory – including what is now western Afghanistan – was repeatedly under one central dominant power. The peoples of Iran, with the exception of a few Parsees who cling to the Zoroastrian faith, all are Mohammedans, who frequently make pilgrimages to the same shrines, and thus have an opportunity for an active interchange of ideas and materials.

City Persian Carpets

The fields of old Persian pieces are lavishly covered with intricate designs of buds and blossoms supported by vines and tendril, and frequently encircled by arabesques that interlace so as to form a harmonious whole. Modern pieces frequently have a solid color field with central medallions and triangular corners defined by graceful lines. The field is often covered by realistically drawn or conventionalized floral designs that are arranged with studied precision. Surrounding the fields are several borders containing undulating vines with pendant flowers or palmettes coordinated in design and color with the main pattern. It is in, however, the colors, which are delicate yet rich, subdued yet lustrous, that these Iranian rugs surpass all others. Their most distinctive tones are blues, reds, browns, and greens so arranged that the ground colors of border and field generally contrast, yet remain in near perfect harmony. On some city Persian carpets a central motif or medallion is sometimes omitted and instead an all-over design of repetitive floral icons is adopted. To attain the fine and beautiful curvilinear designs common to Persian rugs, the intensity of knots must be increased. Where a tribal rug may have 80-100 knots per square ” (KPSI), a Persian City carpet could have 200-300 KPSI, allowing the closely spaced knots to create a visually curved line. Tribal carpets, on the other hand, usually use geometric designs which are easier to achieve with wider spaced knots.

Persian Tribal Rugs

The names of tribal weaving areas in Iran are usually tied to a nearby city and/or to a tribal name. The Baluch, for example, are found throughout southern Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kurds are found in many areas in Northwest Iran, while in other weaving areas, tribal people with Caucasian and Turkoman origins are found. The tribal rugs are usually made with natural materials – including dyes. Here provide additional details on some of the predominant tribal rugs areas of Persia.

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