Persian Rug History
Rugs are made in Iran and known worldwide for their beauty and finesse. The art of Persian rugs is very old and is an important element of the Persian culture, dating since the Bronze Age. Between the XIV and the XV century, places like Tabriz, Kashan,
Qum, and Kerman were very popular for their Persian rugs production.
Nowadays, Persian Rugs are a luxury design element while in the early times these rugs, were no more than a necessity. The tribes that produced these rugs were using them during the cold winters to isolate their tents. They were also used during religious services, for the daily prayers of the Muslims. Today these rugs are especially known for the craftsmanship with which they are designed and manufactured. Most appreciated are the ones made entirely by hand, this giving them a rare beauty. Today when technology has reached such high levels of development, is a real challenge to work these rugs by hand. This is one of the key elements in establishing their high price.
The symbols used throughout a rugs design are very important for Persian culture and arts since they represent divine and mundane pictures. They are symbols of the animal world, the plant world and the spiritual world. The colors used are also very important through their symbolism. Thus, green is the color of the Holy Prophet Mohammed, red represents beauty, luck, joy, faith. Blue color symbolizes the power and solitude making the viewer to think of the afterlife, while orange represents humility, piety. Yellow is the color of sunshine and joy, white represents spiritual purity and gold signifies power and wealth, brown is the representative for fertility. Black is the color commonly used for the rugs' borders, or sometimes as background for the rug field. Such highly valuable rugs are made from materials such as wool, silk and cotton. They are absolutely natural and unaltered chemically. Cotton is used especially for the rug's foundation, while wool and silk are used the pile.
The rugs are made following a previously designed plan, a pattern created by a designer a true master of the art. He indicates the colors and the motifs that will be used.
A Persian rug is composed of the inner and outer borders, the main border, and the field, representing the interior of the rug and the corners that are delimited by the rug's angles and the central medallion. The motifs often used in
Persian rug designs are : Boteh, Herat,
Gonbad, Mine-Khan, and Shah Abbas. The motifs used for creating the medallion are the rosette and the star.
Workmanship designs often found in Persian rugs are
Gombad Design, and
Design. Allover design is a random drawing, that combines motifs gracefully and without constraints.
Persian Rug Styles
There are different types of Persian rugs; they are named after the city or region in which they were made but also after the specific motifs of each region. Among the most important manufacturing regions in which these rugs are made we find
Isfahan has long been one of the most important manufacturing centers for Persian rugs. The rugs here are usually designed using an ivory background and the ornaments are symmetrical and balanced. We find in the central part of the rug a medallion that is surrounded by floral motifs and palmetto leaves. The quality of these rugs is very high and the colors used for the interior motifs are blue, brown, ivory, green and more, all of them featuring an obvious naturalness.
Mashad is the capital of Khorasan in northeastern Iran. The city is known for hosting the mausoleum of the eighth Imam of Shia. Usually this region produces large rugs and their quality is very good. They are made mostly of wool and the floral image of the rug is usually crowded with a medallion in the center.
The rugs produced in the region of Nain are also very popular. They feature a specific design with an ivory or blue background. The central medallion colors matches the background but also the motifs used inside the rug. Older rugs from this region are very difficult to find but the quality is exceptional, as has always been in this region.
Most famous of them all is the Habibian Nains.
The rugs made in the region of Quom are generally made of silk, but also wool or cotton. They are especially known for being used in prayers by the Muslims. Throughout the rug image we see symbols of divinity, very important for the Muslims religion.
The rugs manufactured in the city of Tabriz also are of great finesse. Their predominant colors are red, blue and ivory. They offer strong contrasts in the rug's image but also inspire serenity and beauty. Most are hand-knotted on a soft cotton foundation using a combination of wool and silk. Some of them show the common floral designed central medallion. Featuring different sizes and a perfect symmetry these rugs prove the skills of those who worked to manufacture them.