Persian rugs are synonymous with top-notch craftsmanship and the most beautiful designs, sought-after by collectors and art lovers alike.
Although all Persian carpets constitute timeless value and reflect incredible historical heritage, there are certain distinctions between various types of Persian rugs, depending on the particular region and the weaving center. Below I present four different cities which for centuries have been dealing with rug manufacturing, and show the nuances and characteristic features prevailing in each of them.
Diverse Persian Tabriz Rugs
Persian Tabriz rugs stand strong in the pantheon of the finest carpets in the world. These remarkable textiles are distinguished by probably the longest and the richest continued weaving heritage. Their history reaches back to the 16th century when the power over the region was in the hands of the Safavid dynasty. Persian Tabriz rugs are difficult to set apart from the rest of Persian carpets in terms of motifs, patterns and color pallets. It stems from the exceptionally long existence of the weaving center due to which Tabriz rugs have absorbed the features of practically all weaving schools, not to mention the influences from other cultures and countries dealing with the production of carpets. Medallions, all-over classic motifs, including boteh, Goz, floral and foliage-related patterns, rectilinear forms, as well as curvilinear, scrolling designs – they all may appear, mixing and matching, and above all, contributing to the diversified Tabriz style. What distinguishes Persian Tabriz rugs is the unmatched quality measured in raj – the units of knot density – that can go up to the fantastically fine 110 raj. They are in fact one of the finest rugs in the world and their wonderfully varied designs allow anyone to find something absolutely special.
Sublime Persian Kashan Rugs
Venerable and worked out to the smallest details, Persian Kashan rugs also belong to the oldest and most qualitative floor coverings in the world. Nonetheless, their design is more characteristic and their quality may be even finer than that of Persian Tabriz rugs as Persian Kashan rugs have remained practically unchanged since the earliest classic specimens created for the Royal Court of the 16th century Safavid dynasty. A significant amount of antique Persian Kashan rugs incorporate silk with the foundation made of soft cotton, however, the greatest and most sublime Kashan carpets are made entirely of pure silk which is applied both to the foundation and the pile, resulting in unmatched luminous, tender and qualitative textures. Kashan rugs too incorporate a wide variety of motifs yet most popular ones are central medallions with pendant systems, enhanced by corner spandrels and repeating Persian floral compositions with the color palette concentrating on red, ivory blue and shades of green. The most refined of antique Kashan rugs and carpets are known as Mohtashem, and are named after the most famous weaver from that city. The astounding symmetry of such meticulous carpets can only be executed by experienced artisans carefully following elaborate cartoons. Traditional Persian Kashan rugs are true gems of Iranian craft, which serve as utilitarian objects and works of art in equal measure.