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Best Persian Carpets



Abadeh

A handmade runner in wool from Abadeh
A handmade runner in wool from Abadeh
Right between Shiraz and Isfahan lies the city of Abadeh. To a visitor it does not offer much but, utility carpets of good quality are manufacured in this city.
Originally, carpets from Abadeh had patterns of vases and rather insignificant colours. The carpet had some difficulties holding onto the market and the weavers searched for new patterns. They were inspired by the Ghashghai nomads who had their summer pastures in the area. The carpets have a red-brown nuance combined with blue and with medallions in the middle and corners.
The carpets usually have a large hexagon in the middle with a bow or a medallion and at the corners, a variant of the Heybatlou-pattern . The field is covered with small pictures of birds, four-legged animals together with trees and flowers. They are good utility carpets since they are very firm, hardy and durable.

Some examples of Abadeh carpets:
A handmade runner in wool from Abadeh A handmade runner in wool from Abadeh A handmade runner in wool from Abadeh A handmade runner in wool from Abadeh

Afshar

An Afshar carpet, handmade by semi-nomadic Afshars in the district of Kerman in the southeast of Iran.
An Afshar carpet, handmade by semi-nomadic Afshars in the district of Kerman in the southeast of Iran.
Around the city of Kerman in the southeast of Iran reside the semi nomads from the Afshar tribe. For hundreds of years these nomads lived in the northwest of Iran, but a part of the tribe were compulsorily transferred to today's area, where carpet manufacturing became an important branch of business.
The carpets have red and blue colour tones and mostly geometrical patterns. The most common pattern contains a large center piece with one or more squared medallions, some say that this symbolizes a hide stretched for preparation. Today, medallions also occur and are typical of the Afshar carpets as they are also relatively wide in relation to its length.
In the nearby city of Shahr Babak similar carpets are manufactured, with a higher density and with more detailed patterns. Afshar carpets are also known on the market under the name of Sirdjan.
Some examples of Afshar carpets:
An Afshar carpet, handmade by semi-nomadic Afshars in the district of Kerman in the southeast of Iran. An Afshar carpet, handmade by semi-nomadic Afshars in the district of Kerman in the southeast of Iran. An Afshar carpet, handmade by semi-nomadic Afshars in the district of Kerman in the southeast of Iran. An Afshar carpet, handmade by semi-nomadic Afshars in the district of Kerman in the southeast of Iran.

Ardebil

Ardabil Carpets
The city of Ardebil is also the capital in the province with the same name and is situated in the north of Iran close by the Caspian Sea. To one who is knowledgeable in carpets this name maybe draws the thoughts to the famous Ardebil carpet in Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This carpet is manufactured in Keshan, but was placed in the mosque in Ardebil and eventually sold to raise money for repairing the mosque.
The carpets manufactured in Ardebil are inspired by Caucasian patterns such as Shirvan, Karabagh and Gendje. The later carpets are desirable collector's item. Ardebil carpets are thin but with well done geometrical motifs. Nowadays, a large part of the production consists of runners of good quality and are also sold under the name Ardabil.
Some examples of Ardebil carpets:
Ardabil Carpets Ardabil Carpets Ardabil Carpets Ardabil Carpets

Bakhtiar

A durable, handmade Bakthiar carpet fits perfectly at an entrance.
A durable, handmade Bakthiar carpet fits perfectly at an entrance.
In the Zagros mountains, west of the city of Isfahan around the city Shahr-e-Kurd, reside the Bakhtiar nomads. Most of them speak Persian or a Lori dialect, while others who live in the Khuzestan province speak Arabic. Bakhtiar men wear wide pants, a round shaped hat and a short tunic, clothes which originate as far back as the Parthian dynasty (200 B.C.- 200 A.C.). The Bakhtiar nomadic headman (khans) have at times had very powerful positions in Persian society. An extensive carpet production area of Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari absorbs nomads as well as village people of changing origin.
The carpets are sold under the common name Bakhtiar (also Baktiar, Bachtiar and Bakhtiari ), sometimes with a place of denunciation; Boldaji, Feridan or Saman. The carpets are made of durable wool, and are beaten very hard, which makes them thick and solid and they are considered to be among the most durable of Persian carpets. A well-known pattern is the Khesti (garden motif) where the carpet is divided into squares with plants and animals, symbolizing the Persian garden, but also medallions and life tree-motifs occur with influences from the Isfahan carpets. The best Bakhtiar carpets with the highest knot density are sometimes called Bibibaff.
Some examples of Bakhtiar carpets:
A durable, handmade Bakthiar carpet fits perfectly at an entrance. A durable, handmade Bakthiar carpet fits perfectly at an entrance. A durable, handmade Bakthiar carpet fits perfectly at an entrance. A durable, handmade Bakthiar carpet fits perfectly at an entrance.

Beluch

A handmade Beluch carpet manufactured by nomads near the border between Iran and Afghanistan.
A handmade Beluch carpet manufactured by nomads near the border between Iran and Afghanistan.
The Beluchis live on the border district between Iran and Afghanistan. Beluch is a generic term of nomads consisting of smaller tribes with varied origin. Their livelihood consists of agriculture, raising sheep, goats and camels together with carpet manufacturing.
The Beluch carpets have a close relationship with carpets from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The colours are often dull and dark red, dark blue, black and brown. The patterns are geometrical with curvilinear life trees. They are often designed as prayer carpets with a prayer niche.
Sometimes, the carpets have decorative kelims on the short sides to protect the carpet against wear. The long sides often consist of many cables, made with goat and horse hair. The warp is made of wool or a mixture of wool and goat hair and newer carpets have a warp made of cotton.
The workmanship is of high quality; these carpets are tight and thin and give a real feeling of genuine nomadic handicraft. The carpets are mostly made in small sizes with lively patterns and prayer carpets are common.
These carpets are sold in the city of Mashad in Iran and are called Mashad-Beluch carpets, while others are sold in the city of Herat in Afghanistan, and thus known as Herat-Beluch carpets.
Some examples of Beluch carpets:
A handmade Beluch carpet manufactured by nomads near the border between Iran and Afghanistan. A handmade Beluch carpet manufactured by nomads near the border between Iran and Afghanistan. A handmade Beluch carpet manufactured by nomads near the border between Iran and Afghanistan. A handmade Beluch carpet manufactured by nomads near the border between Iran and Afghanistan.

Bidjar

A nice handmade Bidjar carpet creates cosiness.
A nice handmade Bidjar carpet creates cosiness.
Bidjar is the name of a small Kurdish town in western Iran. Kurdish carpets are often very strong and compact, which makes them extremly durable. The name Bidjar denotes the meaning of durability to many carpet specialists. The weavers use their heavy comb, made of metal and wood, to beat the weft and the knots, so that the pile almost stands up. The surface of the pile therefore, becomes very compact, which prevents gravel and other small particles to be pressed into the carpet. The carpets are made with Turkish knots and are generally red and blue with beige elements.
The most common pattern is the Herati (also called fish pattern), but also medallions and floral motifs occur. Bidjar carpets are manufactured in most sizes, from zaronim (150x100 cm) and larger sizes. They have a sober elegance and fit in most environments. Their durability makes the carpets very suitable for public environments.
Some examples of Bidjar carpets:
A nice handmade Bidjar carpet creates cosiness. A nice handmade Bidjar carpet creates cosiness. A nice handmade Bidjar carpet creates cosiness. A nice handmade Bidjar carpet creates cosiness.

Gabbeh

A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern.
A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern.
Gabbeh (from the Persian language farsi; raw, natural, uncut) represents a rough and primitive carpet with patterns mostly made by Ghashghai nomads from the Farsi province in the southwest of Iran. These carpets are probably the most well-known handmade carpets from Iran. They are manufactured by handspun wool, both in the pile and warp, and the yarns are dyed using plant dyes. The carpets are much thicker than other Persian carpets, sometimes up to 2.5 cm thick.
The patterns of the carpet are of a simple type with only a few elements of decorative, mostly rectangular objects containing animals. During the last decades, the weavers have had to meet the demands of the west and have therefore, resorted to using large light fields with chary pattering in the Gabbeh carpets.
Weavers from India have acted quickly to copy these carpets, but one must pay attention to this as there is a major difference between a Persian and a Indo Gabbeh carpet. Mostly this can be determined by the quality of the wool that is noticable, the Persian variant is much softer. The Persian variant is also much more durable and the quality is definitely better.
At present, there are different names given to Gabbeh carpets such as Basic, Amalehbaft, Kashkooli, Luribaft, Sumak and Baluch Gabbeh. A Gabbeh Kashkooli is a carpet with a higher knot density and a shorter pile than the usual Gabbeh carpets.
Some examples of Gabbeh carpets:
A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern. A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern. A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern. A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern.

Ghashghai

Ghashghai nomads on their way to new surroundings.
Ghashghai nomads on their way to new surroundings.
The Ghashghai nomads are found in the Fars province in the southwest of Iran and they live in the provinces of Fars, Khuzestan and Southern Isfahan but mostly in the surroundings of Shiraz. They move twice a year, between the winter pasture near the Persian Gulf and the summer pasture up in the Zagros mountains where it is much cooler. During the move it is possible to see the men with their typical round hats, running together with their dogs, large flock of sheep and herds of goats, along the roads swirling with clouds of dust. The women in their colourful clothes move along with the help of donkeys and horses towards new camp grounds. The tents that they live in are often made from goat hair.
The manufacturing of carpets as well as kelims, bags, ribbons and other decorations is an important contribution to the life of the nomads. The carpets have a typical red-brown ground colour. The pattern is tied from memory and often consists of a centrally placed medallion, repeated in all four corners. Humans, four legged animals, birds, trees and flowers are popular elements. Other patterns are collected from frescos and columns in Persepolis (Tacht-e-Jamshid in Persia ) the ceremonial capital during the Achmenids dynasty (550-330 B.C.). They are also wellknown for their beautiful sadle bags that are knotted for more practical reasons.
The carpets are woven on horizontal looms and the weaver sits during the weaving process on the half made part of the carpet. Semi nomads, who are resident during part of the year, weave carpets in the same way. A specially well-woven carpet is know as a Kashkooli. Gabbeh signifies a rough and primitive nomadic carpet from the area. During the last decades, the weaver had to oblige to the western desires and began to use large brighter fields with few patterns in the Gabbeh carpets. Well-made Ghashghai carpets are attractive and durable products that tells a lot about the conditions of the nomadic life. The carpet is made entirely of wool from sheep and goats with some horse hair. The carpets can also be known as Qashqai, Gashghai, Gaschgai or Kashgai carpets.
Most of the Ghasghai nomads have now settled in towns and villages. Their carpets are therefore more directly influenced by market demands. These carpets in comparison to other nomadic tribal carpets are more coarsely woven and have cotton warps. More simple carpets from the area are sold under the name Shiraz. It is also the name of the provincial capital and in these bazaars the Ghashghai carpets are sold. The bazaars are also a common place where the nomads purchase other products they may use in their everyday life.
Ghashghai carpets consist of a hexagon or diamond with four projecting hooks inside of a hooked diamond. Some Ghasghai pieces have the Hebatlu design (Hebatlu is the name of one of the one of the smaller Ghasghai tribes) and it consists of circular central medallion, and smaller designs similar to the central medallion repeated on each of the four corners of the carpet. The Ghasghai kelims tend to be woven in one piece with cotton sometimes used as highlights. The have simple designs and the warp is normally finished in long braids. The tribe that are well known for making the Kelims are the Amaleh and Darashuri.
Some examples of Ghashghai carpets:
Ghashghai nomads on their way to new surroundings. Ghashghai nomads on their way to new surroundings. Ghashghai nomads on their way to new surroundings. Ghashghai nomads on their way to new surroundings.

Ghom

A figural Ghom carpet from the city of Ghom in Iran.
A figural Ghom carpet from the city of Ghom in Iran.
Nearby a dried up river, about 150 kilometres south of Teheran lies the city of Ghom. It is the second most holy city in Iran and an important teological centre with extensive education of priests. The eighth imams sister is buried in a magnificent mausoleum that is found in this city.
The manufacturing of carpets began at the of the 20th century. Carpets from Ghom are known for their fine workmanship with pile in wool or silk. They are often manufactured with high knot density and have varied patterns, borrowed from different areas in Iran. Sometimes details are tied in silk. It is also common with carpets manufactured entirely of silk, Silk-Ghom .
Gardens, medallions or figural carpets with plant and animal motifs are common. Today, carpets are manufactured in other places and these carpets also carries the name Ghom.
The carpets are also sold under the names Ghome, Gom, Qum, Kum and Qom .
Some examples of Ghom carpets:
A figural Ghom carpet from the city of Ghom in Iran. A figural Ghom carpet from the city of Ghom in Iran. A figural Ghom carpet from the city of Ghom in Iran. A figural Ghom carpet from the city of Ghom in Iran.

Hamadan

A beautiful and durable carpet fits everywhere, the picture above shows a Hamadan carpet.
A beautiful and durable carpet fits everywhere, the picture above shows a Hamadan carpet.
Hamadan is a city situated in the western part of Iran, 300 kilometres west of Teheran. It is one of the worlds oldest cities and is mentioned under the name of Ekbatana in the Bible, see the book of Esther. The city is a centre for trading with carpets that are manufactured in the hundreds from nearby villages and cities. The best of these carpets are sold under their own names such as Nahavand, Tuiserkan, Malayer or Hosseinabad. More simple carpets from the area are sold under the generic term Hamadan.
They are easily recognized with their typical patterns and sizes. The patterns are very varying and the medallion as well as carpets with repeated patterns occur. Among individual pattens the Herati is the most common pattern.
The colours are dominated by different nuances of indigo blue and madder red. Older Hamadan carpets can be very attractive products. In the city itself, Hamadan, carpets were manufactured with a considerably higher quality.The carpets were called Shahr-baff (Shahr=city, baff=knot) and are similiar in structure to the Bidjar carpets, but they are rare on the market today.
The carpets are manufactured with a roppy, shiny and often natural dyed handspun yarn, that provides a very durable surface and beautiful colour scale. Common for all these carpets is that they are nowadays made on a cotton warp with one weft. The patterns are mostly geometrical, but floral motifs also occur. Materials and design can be of very varying quality.
Older carpets (before 1920) are often tied on wool warp, different from todays cotton warp. The younger carpets (after 1960) often have synthetic colorus and less fine wool than older carpets. The most common sizes are dozar and zaronim (approximately 200x120 cm and 150x100 cm).
In general Hamadan can be said to be good utility carpets. Examples of Hamadan carpets are Burchalow, Enjilas, Hosseinabad, Lilihan, Khamse, Zanjan and Malayer carpets. The carpets are also sold under the name of Hamedan.
Some examples of Hamadan carpets:
A beautiful and durable carpet fits everywhere, the picture above shows a Hamadan carpet. A beautiful and durable carpet fits everywhere, the picture above shows a Hamadan carpet. A beautiful and durable carpet fits everywhere, the picture above shows a Hamadan carpet. A beautiful and durable carpet fits everywhere, the picture above shows a Hamadan carpet.

Heriz

A handmade carpet from the Heriz area in Azerbadjan in northwest of Iran.
A handmade carpet from the Heriz area in Azerbadjan in northwest of Iran.
The city of Heriz is situated in the northwest of Iran, not far from the greater city of Tabriz. In the city and its surroundings carpets are manufactured with a pattern that is easily recognized; in the center there is a large right-angled medallion with large marked corner sections. Large carpets are mainly made by fairly rough yarn on cotton warp with a rustic design.
Heriz carpets, with its high wool quality, are well known for their durability and hardiness, and are very suitable for hallways and dining-rooms. Large sizes, from 300x200 cm and more are most common. Similar carpets are made in Georavan and Mehravan. Heriz carpets are suitable for homes as well as for public environments.
Some examples of Heriz carpets:
A handmade carpet from the Heriz area in Azerbadjan in northwest of Iran. A handmade carpet from the Heriz area in Azerbadjan in northwest of Iran. A handmade carpet from the Heriz area in Azerbadjan in northwest of Iran. A handmade carpet from the Heriz area in Azerbadjan in northwest of Iran.

Isfahan

A handmade Isfahan in a tasteful bathroom.
A handmade Isfahan in a tasteful bathroom.
n the middle of Iran with the Zagros mountains to the left and the desert to the right, lies the city of Isfahan; Today, it is an important industrial city with a population of 1.2 million inhabitants. For many people Isfahan probably is the main attraction in Iran. Architecturally, the city is a masterwork and one of the finest in the islamic world. The great Imam square with two mosques together with the palaces, the parks and the old bridges creates a mood that lets the visitor feel that this really is the Orient.
Isfahan was the capital of the country during the Safavids dynasty (1502-1736). The powerful Shah Abbas (1587-1629) was a great believer of architecture, art and handicrafts. During his time the Emam square were built, looking like a large caravan. In its southern end rises the enormous Emam mosque. It is thought by lots of people to be the finest mosque in the country. On one of the long sides lies the Lotfollah mosque and opposite the Ali Qapo palace. The whole square is surrounded by shops for miniatures, gold, sweets and textiles together with a lot of tea houses. The great bazaar stretches from the northern part of the square a total of 5 kilometres, towards the older parts of the city and the Jame mosque from the 11th century. It is easy for a visitor to realize the meaning in a Persian saying from the 16th century: "Isfahan nesf-e jahan - Isfahan is half the world."
In the city and in its surroundings a large number of workshops can be found. Many of them have a world reputation such as Seirafian, Davari, Enteshar and Haghighi. The patterns are often inspired by the mosques tile works, or the gardens of the cities and palaces. Carpets from Isfahan have high class when it comes to the composition of the patterns, materials and designs. They are characterized by thin, often carpets with extremly high knot density ((Shah Abbas pattern), but figural motifs also occur.
Along the large shopping streets the carpet stores are very close together, and in the hotels exhibitions are put up to attract buyers. There are also larger carpet bazaar in the surrounding countryside, selling the Yalameh and Bakhtiar carpets for example. These carpets are also sold under the name Esfahan.
Some examples of Isfahan carpets:
A handmade Isfahan in a tasteful bathroom. A handmade Isfahan in a tasteful bathroom. A handmade Isfahan in a tasteful bathroom. A handmade Isfahan in a tasteful bathroom.

Kerman

A Kerman carpet, handmade from the city of Kerman in southeast of Iran.
A Kerman carpet, handmade from the city of Kerman in southeast of Iran.
Down in the southeast of Iran, close to an oasis in the desert Dasht-e-Lut lies the city of Kerman with a population of approximately 350 000 inhabitants. The distance to Teheran is more than 1 000 kilometres and the city was founded in the 4th century and had great importance for the people who were travelling far along the trading routes between Iran and India. During the centuries different masters have ruled the city, for example Arabs, Seljuks and Mongolians.
Until a few years ago Kerman was a good starting-point for the people wanting to visit the old fortress city of Bam, about 200 kilometres south. Bam was on of the most greatest tourist attractions in Iran, but was destroyed by an earthquake around Christmas 2003, killing 10 000 peoples.
The city of Kerman today has a pleasant atmosphere with mosques, blocks with bazaars and tea houses. The carpet manufacturing has long been an important industry and carpets from Kerman are easily recognized. The ground colour is often red, and the pattern is dominated by a centrally placed medallion together with a wide border filled with flowers. The carpets that were manufactured before World War I usually have different motifs, such as trees, animals and figural motifs. The material as well as the design is usually of good quality.
The carpets were considered to be the best among the Iranian carpets, but the newer productions are unfortunately of low quality sometimes. Modern carpets with the name Kerman-Lavar often come with all-over floral motifs in clear colours. The carpets are also sold under the name Kirman.
Some examples of Kerman carpets:
A Kerman carpet, handmade from the city of Kerman in southeast of Iran. A Kerman carpet, handmade from the city of Kerman in southeast of Iran. A Kerman carpet, handmade from the city of Kerman in southeast of Iran. A Kerman carpet, handmade from the city of Kerman in southeast of Iran.

Keshan

Keshan carpet, handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings in central Iran. Superior carpets were manufactured here already during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736).
Keshan carpet, handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings in central Iran. Superior carpets were manufactured here already during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736).
Right between Isfahan and Teheran, close to the edge of the great desert Dasht-e-Kavir, lies the city of Keshan with 120 000 inhabitants. The city has been famous for a long time for its textiles and its pottery. The Fine Garden, many tradesmen buildings from the 19th century and the bazaar could be of interest to visitors. The city was important as a trading place and as a resting place along the Silk Road, but has been in the shadow of Isfahan for some time now.
The famous Ardebil carpet, which can be seen at Victoria and Albert museum in London is considered to made in Keshan in the 16th century. Also the carpets of today, which are sometimes sold under the name Kashan, have a good reputation.
The carpets are handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings. Superior carpets were manufactured here during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). After a period of decline high quality carpets were being manufactured again at the end of the 19th century. The carpets are manufactured with high knot density with Persian knot, warp and weft of cotton and the wool for the pile is of high quality. The patterns consists of beautifully designed medallions, niches, trees and figural motifs and all-over floral motifs occur also. Dominating colours are blue, red and beige.
The quality of these carpets vary a lot, some of them are not even manufactured in Keshan, but are still sold under this name.
Some examples of Keshan carpets:
Keshan carpet, handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings in central Iran. Superior carpets were manufactured here already during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). Keshan carpet, handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings in central Iran. Superior carpets were manufactured here already during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). Keshan carpet, handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings in central Iran. Superior carpets were manufactured here already during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). Keshan carpet, handmade in the city of Keshan and its surroundings in central Iran. Superior carpets were manufactured here already during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736).

Klardasht

A Klardasht carpet, notice the simple figures.
A Klardasht carpet, notice the simple figures.
These carpets are rather unusual, but very well-known from several antique paintings. The village, Klardasht, is situated in the north of Iran, south of the Caspian Sea, near the Alborz mountains.
The motifs on these carpets normally consists of a hexagon surrounded by white primitve lines and sometimes even a scarab in the middle. On the central part of the carpet, and on the border, there are decorative figures of more simple types together with flowers. The background colour is often brickred with dark blue and brown as dominating colours. The pile is made of thick, soft wool, the warp of cotton and the knots is Turkish. The carpets are very durable and very long-lasting.
The quality of these carpets vary, before 1960 they were very good. Between 1965-1980 the quality sank when western collectors forced the weavers to modify their patterns and colours. After the revolution in 1979 the quality began to be better and today the quality is the same as it used to be in the olden days, both when it comes to design and colours.
Some examples of Klardasht carpets:
A Klardasht carpet, notice the simple figures. A Klardasht carpet, notice the simple figures. A Klardasht carpet, notice the simple figures. A Klardasht carpet, notice the simple figures.

Koliai

A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish).
A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish).
The main part of the population in Iran is of Persian origin, but there are also minorities. One of these are the Kurds who mainly live in the western parts of the country in the provinces of Kurdestan, Zandjan and Kermanshah. They used to live like nomads, but are nowadays more resident and practise agriculture and stock farming. The men can be recognized by their outfits with baggy pants and a wide belt. About five million Kurds live in Iran and large Kurdish areas can also be found in Turkey and western Iraq.
The Kurds are known as good carpet weavers. The carpets are firmly tied with a high pile and a saturated colour scale. Older Koliai carpets are woven on a warp of wool, while the younger has a cotton warp, both with two wefts between the rows of knots. Their patterns often have large, geometrical figures in dull colours. A pattern with small diagonally placed squares is also common. The workmanship is strong; the carpets are heavy and compact with good durability. The classical measures are 150-160x300-330 cm, rather narrow in relation to the length.
Kurdish village carpets are usually sold under the name Koliai (also Kolyai) or Songhur. Other carpets woven by the Kurds are Senneh which are described elsewere on this website.
Some examples of Koliai carpets:
A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish). A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish). A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish). A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish).

Mashad

A Mashad carpet, handmade in the city of Mashad in the northeast of Iran.
A Mashad carpet, handmade in the city of Mashad in the northeast of Iran.
The holy city of Mashad is situated in the east of Iran, in the enormous province of Khorasan. Mashad is the holiest city in Iran, the eight imam died, and is buried, here in the year 817. This place has grown from an insignificant village to one of the countrys largest cities with a population of 2 milion inhabitants. More than 12 million Shiah muslims visit the city every year.
The carpet manufacturing is extensive and mostly large carpets with medallions are made, which are also sold under the name Meshed. The quality changes and the wool from Khorasan is recognized by its softness.
Some examples of Mashad carpets:
A Mashad carpet, handmade in the city of Mashad in the northeast of Iran. A Mashad carpet, handmade in the city of Mashad in the northeast of Iran. A Mashad carpet, handmade in the city of Mashad in the northeast of Iran. A Mashad carpet, handmade in the city of Mashad in the northeast of Iran.

Moud

The carpets from Moud often have the Herati pattern.
The carpets from Moud often have the Herati pattern.
The city of Moud is situated south of Mashad and south of Birdjan. The carpets from Moud often have a Herati pattern , with or without a centrally placed medallion. They are sometimes divided into Moud Mahi and Moud Garden . The first one mentioned, Mahi, often has a beige colour with a light red or blue nuance and a star shaped medallion. The other, Garden, reminds one about Bakhtiar carpets, illustrated with a curvilinear garden motif.
The weavers uses double wefts and the workmanship is often of good quality. In both types silk is used to bring out the lustre in the pile. Other carpets from this area are Birjand and Kashmar.
Some examples of Moud carpets:
The carpets from Moud often have the Herati pattern. The carpets from Moud often have the Herati pattern. The carpets from Moud often have the Herati pattern. The carpets from Moud often have the Herati pattern.

Nahavand

A durable Nahavand carpet fits perfectly at a reception area.
A durable Nahavand carpet fits perfectly at a reception area.
Nahavand is a town in the province of Hamadan which is situated in the western part of Iran. The surrounding region around the city of Hamadan is one of the most productive when it comes to carpet manufacturing in Iran. In almost every village there is manufacturing of unique and simple carpets, and in all sizes. The quality is very high and thanks to the high shiny wool they use, the carpets are very durable.
Much of the design are collected from the famous city Malayer, situated westwards. The carpets are stable, with elements of nomadic and geometrical motifs and are ranked as the leading carpets manufactured in this area.
The carpets often have a "leaf-like" medallion in the middle with flowers and twigs in the background. A border with flowers and typical vases can also be seen. The dominating colours are often a kind of pale rust-red and beige on a dark blue background.
Some examples of Nahavand carpets:
A durable Nahavand carpet fits perfectly at a reception area. A durable Nahavand carpet fits perfectly at a reception area. A durable Nahavand carpet fits perfectly at a reception area.

Nain

Nain carpets often have a higher knot density than one million knots per square metre.
Nain carpets often have a higher knot density than one million knots per square metre.
Close to the western edge of the great desert Dasht-e-Kavir, 200 kilometres east of Isfahan is the picturesque city of Nain. In the city one can see the characteristic clay buildings and one of the oldest mosques in Iran with remains from the 10th century.
Carpets from the city have a high reputation and are very popular. Material as well as the workmanship is of highest class and the knot density is high; often more than one million knots per square meter. The material in the more exclusive carpets consists of wool on a silk warp or silk in the warp as well as in the weft and pile.
Patterns with a medallion in the middle together with arabesques and floral motifs are common. The similarity to carpets from the nearby city of Isfahan is remarkable. One of the rarer type of Nain carpets on the market is the "Nain Tuteshk" and with an incredibly refined craftsmanship, they are much sought after. It sometimes occurs that carpets of slightly lower quality, with similar patterns and colours, are sold as Nain carpets.
In connection with Nain carpets some denominations occur; 4La, 6La and 9La, where "La" in farsi means layer. This denomination is used to decide the quality of a Nain carpet and it refers to the number of layer of threads that have been used in every warp-thread at the manufacturing of the carpet. The lower the number the finer and higher density the knots the carpet has. It is possible to check how many layers have been used in a carpet by counting the number of threads in one of the fringes of the carpet - if you can see 3 pairs of thread (see pictures below) then it is a Nain 6La carpet.
An example of 9La, 400 000 - 500 000 knots per square metre.
An example of 9La, 400 000 - 500 000 knots per square metre.
3 pair of threads are visible = 6La, 850 000 - 1 000 000 knots per square metre.
3 pair of threads are visible = 6La, 850 000 - 1 000 000 knots per square metre.
and here 2 pair of threads are showing = 4La, 1 000 000 - 1 300 000 knots per square metre.
and here 2 pair of threads are showing = 4La, 1 000 000 - 1 300 000 knots per square metre.

In other words: the lower La-number the finer and more expensive carpets, see the following enumeration.
4La = exclusive quality - 6La = extra fine quality - 9La = good quality It is very hard to find Nain 4La carpets today.
Some examples of Nain carpets:
Nain carpets often have a higher knot density than one million knots per square metre. Nain carpets often have a higher knot density than one million knots per square metre. Nain carpets often have a higher knot density than one million knots per square metre. Nain carpets often have a higher knot density than one million knots per square metre.

Senneh

Senneh carpet, handmade from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj formerly Senna) in western Iran.
Senneh carpet, handmade from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj formerly Senna) in western Iran.
In the western part of Iran the province of Kurdistan is situated. Its capital today is Sanandaj, but in carpet context the older name is still used, Senneh. The visitor meets a Kurdish society very different from what can be seen in Iran today. One can notice how the people dress; men in baggy pants and women in colourful dresses.
Around the province the Kurdish people weave strong, durable carpets with juicy patterns (see Koliai ). Carpets from the city of Senneh gives an elegant impression with a fine design and tasteful patterns. They are very appreciated both in and out of Iran. The pattern consists of rhombs, mir-e-buteh or Herati. The carpet is dominated by red and dark blue colours.
The weaver uses thread in the weft and because of this the carpet gets a typical spotted backside. In this area the Kelim-Senneh carpet is also manufactured, which is thougth to be the best kelims in all of Iran.
Some examples of Senneh carpets:
Senneh carpet, handmade from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj formerly Senna) in western Iran. Senneh carpet, handmade from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj formerly Senna) in western Iran. Senneh carpet, handmade from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj formerly Senna) in western Iran. Senneh carpet, handmade from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj formerly Senna) in western Iran.

Shiraz

Shiraz carpet, handmade both by nomads and residents in and around the city of Shiraz in the south of iran.
Shiraz carpet, handmade both by nomads and residents in and around the city of Shiraz in the south of iran.
The city of Shiraz with its gardens, tombs of the poets and the ancient Persepolis, is situated in the Fars province which lead to the name of the country Persia, today's Iran.
The easy-going atmosphere appeals to many Iranians. Around the city resides the Ghashghai nomads (see the section about Ghashghai ) and their carpets are traded in the giant bazaar; sometimes under its own name and sometimes under the name Shiraz.
When speaking of Shiraz carpets in common, it is a more simple carpet with pile, warp and weft made of wool.
Example of a Shiraz carpet:
Shiraz carpet, handmade both by nomads and residents in and around the city of Shiraz in the south of iran. Shiraz carpet, handmade both by nomads and residents in and around the city of Shiraz in the south of iran. Shiraz carpet, handmade both by nomads and residents in and around the city of Shiraz in the south of iran. Shiraz carpet, handmade both by nomads and residents in and around the city of Shiraz in the south of iran.

Tabriz

A handmade Tabriz 50Raj with elements of silk.
A handmade Tabriz 50Raj with elements of silk.
The city of Tabriz is situated 600 km west of Teheran and one of the largest cities in Iran and also the captial in the province of Azerbajdzjan. The population comprising of the Azaris, who are the largest ethnic minority in Iran and speak the Turkish dialect. The city is old and has for centuries been a very important trading place and border station. Known attractions are the Blue Mosque and the giant bazaar.
The manufacturing of carpets today is extensive and the quality varies from excellent handicrafts to simple and cheap bazaar qualities. A good Tabriz has a short and rough pile. The patterns can consist of a centrally placed medallion surrounded by arabesques, weeping willows and cypresses. Another popular motif is the four seasons which describes the life of the Persian farmer during spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Ancient palaces and ruins are often seen on the carpets. On the corners it is sometimes possible to see the four great Persian poets: Sadi, Hafez, Ferdowsi and Omar Khayam.
The term Raj in connection with the name of Tabriz carpets refers to the number of knots in a 70 mm span range. The denomination 40 Raj refers to carpets with 400-500.000 knots/m2, 50 Raj to carpets with approximately 500-600.000 knots/m2, 60 Raj to carpets with 600-800.000 knots/m2 and 70 Raj to carpets with approximately 800-1.000.000 knots/m2. The last mentioned being extremely rare on today's market.
Some examples of Tabriz carpets:
A handmade Tabriz 50Raj with elements of silk. A handmade Tabriz 50Raj with elements of silk. A handmade Tabriz 50Raj with elements of silk. A handmade Tabriz 50Raj with elements of silk.

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