The Persian carpet is one of the oldest handicrafts in the world. The oldest Persian carpet is located in Hermitage Museum and is called Pazyryk. This carpet is about 2500 years old.
The advanced technique used in the Pazyryk carpet indicates a long history of evolution and experience in weaving. It is considered the oldest known carpet in the world.
Much of the progression of the Persian carpet lies in conjunction with the various rulers of the country throughout a time when Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 539 BC, he was struck by its splendor and many historians credit him for introducing the art of carpet making into Persia. It is said that the tomb of Cyrus, who was buried at Pasargadae near Persepolis, was covered with precious carpets. Even before his time, it is very likely that Persian nomads created at least very simple designs for their own homes. Their herds of sheep and goats provided them with high quality and durable wool for this purpose.
A Persian carpet or Persian rug is a heavy textile, made for a wide variety of utilitarian and symbolic purpose, produced in Iran for home use, local sale and export. Carpet weaving is an essential part of Persian culture and Iranian art.
Famous traditional Iranian carpets making areas include Mashhad, Tabriz, Arak, Isfahan, Kashan, and Kerman. Well-known varieties of Persian rugs some from the aforementioned towns include the Khorasan, Meshed, Herat, Shiraz, Korman, Tabriz, Senna, Sarouk, Heraz, Hamedan, Sultanabad and Isfahan. Among some other rug-making towns are regions include Bakhtiar, Bidjar, Bakshaish and Heriz, Foreghan, Bibikabad, Tehran, Qom, Joshegan, Malayer, and Sarab.
Iran uses some materials for its carpets such as wool, cotton, and silk.
In most Persian rugs, the pile is of sheep wool, it’s characteristics and quality vary from each area to the next, depending on the breed of sheep, climatic conditions, pasturage and the particular customs relating to when and how the wool is shorn and processed.
Cotton forms the foundation of warps and wefts of the majority of modern rugs.
Silk is an expensive material and has been used for representative carpets. Silk pile can be used to highlight special elements of the design. High-quality carpets from Kashan, Qom, Nain, and Isfahan have all-silk piles.
Moreover, Iran has some different kinds of carpets like Gabbeh, kilim, Jajim, Silk verni ,…
Gabbeh is a hand-woven rug characterized by an abstract design that relies upon the field of color and a playfulness with geometry. The Gabbeh is usually crafted by women. Gabbeh carpets are much thicker and coarser than other Persian carpets. Gabbeh is made of natural, handspun wool yarn and all the colors are crafted with natural plant dye. Due to it’s less precise pattern, a small number of knots. A Gabbeh is one of the less expensive varieties of Persian carpet. The patterns of the carpet are of a simple type with only a few elements of decorative, mostly rectangular objects containing animals.
Weavers from India have acted quickly to copy these carpets but one must pay attention to this, there is a major difference between a Persian and an Indo Gabbeh. Mostly this can be determined by the quality of the wool that is noticeable, the Persian variant is much softer and also much more durable and the quality is better.
A Kilim is a flat tapestry-woven carpet or rug traditionally produced in countries of the former Ottoman Empire, Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkic countries of Central Asian. Kilims can be purely decorative or can function as prayer rugs. Modern Kilims are popular floor-covering in western households.
Jajim is flatweaves made in narrow panels to very great length, Almost by the hand of one woman from the spinning to the finish, usually on a horizontal loom. There is a great tradition of flatweaves of this type, always with stripes as a dominant feature in the design. Jajim was made in many areas throughout the country like East Azerbaijan, Ardebil, Kermanshah, Kordestan, Hamedan, Lorestan, Mazandaran, and Fars.
Carpets and rugs woven in different towns and regional centers and each of them have a difference. Here we discover most of them.
These are high quality traditional Iranian carpets with a wool, silk pile and a cotton or silk warp. The patterns range from teardrop medallions to floral, trees and hunting scenes.
These traditional Iranian carpets are distinguished from their brightness. These are very high quality and are sent to generations. Heriz carpets are with a double or triple outline and large corner pieces.
The medallion and corner pattern on an ornately patterned floral field is a trademark of Kashan rugs. The colors used in the designing are usually a combination of deep blues, rich reds, and ivory with occasional splotches of yellow, green and burnt orange.