Persian rugs have become synonymous with the fabled magic carpets that possess the ability to Detailed with intricate patterns and woven with fine wool, these rugs are the products of exemplary craftsmanship. Originated in Persia (now Iran), these rugs have garnered the love and attention of art connoisseurs all over the world. These rugs are less a utilitarian product and more of a collectible that is treasured and valued.
The design on these rugs are characterised by a large medallion in the centre with floral motifs and other geometric patterns in the border which are complemented by a rich colour palette, attributing a luxurious and decadent feel. These rugs were woven by tribes living in the mountains, town workshops and artisans commissioned by the royal family, which resulted in a diverse variety of rugs each with its unique style which serve as an extension of the place they were made in. Based on their origins and distinct style, they are classified broadly into nine categories:
1. Tabriz Rugs: Originating from the city of Tabriz in Azerbaijan, these rugs have a wide range of patterns including floral motifs and hunting scenes. Since they are extremely expensive, they are found only in museums and private collections.
2. Heriz Rugs: Characterised by intricate patterns and bold colours, these rugs have a large medallion in the middle followed by two or three layers of outlines.
3. Kashan Rugs: The medallion in the centre with its intricate corner designs adds charm to this rug. Usually embellished with colours like blues, red, ivory and an occasional splash of burnt orange and yellow, these rugs are considered to be of the best quality.
4. Gabbeh Rugs: Originated from the Zargos Mountains in Iran, tribal influences are quite invisible in their patterns. Usually thicker and coarser than other Persian rugs, they are distinguished by their simple design. The common colours featured here are orange, red and yellow which are mostly derived from natural ingredients.
5. Isfahan Rugs: Woven in silk and wool, these rugs are characterised by the presence of a single medallion, usually in indigo or rose, bordered by vines on an ivory background.
6. Nain Rugs: These rugs are considered to be of the highest quality as they are woven with fine wool and usually consist of intricately intertwined flowers on branches on an ivory background.
7. Mashad Rugs: Characterised by a large Shah Abbasi medallion in the centre and an intricate background filled with floral motifs, these rugs are known for their elaborate designs and bold colours.
8. Balouchi Rugs: Owing to their tribal origins, it is almost impossible to find large Balouchi rugs. Characterised by their simple pattern, these rugs are woven with sheep’s wool and are
usually in beige or brown.
9. Qum Rugs: These rugs originate from the Qum province in Iran and consist of a wide variety of motifs like flowers, birds, medallions, hunting scenes and gardens. Embellished with rich colours like dark blue, orange, red and turquoise, these rugs are woven on silk and cotton.
Persian rugs originated from what is a lost kingdom in the war torn country of Iran. These products are not only a source of living for these weavers but also strive to tell the stories of a long forgotten prosperous kingdom nestled away in the mountains, that produced some of the best artisans and craftsmen that the world has ever seen.