Frequently Asked Questions
Hand-knotted Persian carpets
A Persian carpet (Persian قالی qālī) is a heavy fabric made for a wide range of utilitarian and symbolic purposes, produced in Afghanistan, Iran and the surrounding areas of the former Persian Empire. Persian carpets are produced for home use, for local trade and for export. The Persian carpet is a staple of Persian art and culture. It is colloquially known in German-speaking countries as the Persian carpet. Within the group of oriental carpets, the Persian carpet stands out due to the special variety and artistic quality of its colors and patterns. In 2010, the "traditional art of carpet weaving" in Fars and Kashan was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Persian carpets of various types were knotted at the same time by nomadic tribes, villages, urban and court manufacturers. This rough classification according to the social class for which carpets were made represents different traditions coexisting, and reflects the long and rich history of Iran and the peoples who live there. The carpets from the Safavid court manufactures in Isfahan in the 16th century are world famous for their diverse, rich colors and artistic patterns.
Technique for making a Persian carpet
The rugs are knotted on a loom, which is basically a wooden frame with heddles that allow the weaver to open and close the warp threads to allow the pile yarn to run through. The weaver ties the warps to the warp beam at the back of the loom, and the warps facing forward are called the front warps. The weft threads are suspended between the front warp threads by means of a heddle and are lifted up and down by means of a harness attached to the warp threads at the back of the loom. The pile yarn is wrapped around a rod that is mounted vertically at the back of the loom. The weft yarn is passed through the space between the front warp yarns by a mechanism called a shuttle, and then passed between the warp yarns at the back of the loom and wrapped around the vertical warp bar. Each weft thread is then woven with the neighboring warp threads to form a continuous strip of fabric, the so-called pile fabric. At the same time, a second, lower warp thread is used to create a second, lower strip of fabric, called the backing, which serves to add the right degree of strength or elasticity to the finished carpet.
Safavid court manufactures
In the 16th century, carpets were made on the looms (called “qas'a” in Persian) in the royal farmhouses. Later, the royal court established the first manufactories in the cities of Isfahan and Shiraz. The 16th-century carpets made in the royal farmhouses in Isfahan are considered to be the finest examples of royal Persian carpets. The royal farmhouses were built to house the royal court and royal harem when a coronation was taking place. Towards the end of the Safavid dynasty, the royal farmhouses lost their importance and the royal court established manufactures in Isfahan. After the founding of the Qajar dynasty, the royal court set up more manufactories in Shiraz.
Types of Persian carpets
– Baksha carpets. These rugs typically have a red field and blue or green as the secondary color. They are made in the districts south of Isfahan. – Ghiordes carpets. They are distinguished by their red field with a broad blue border. They are believed to be of Turkish origin. – Heriz carpets. They are characterized by a combination of blue and red in the field and green or blue in the border. They are made in the districts of Isfahan that are northeast of the city. – Sarouk carpets. These carpets are characterized by a red field, a blue border and a white background. The name of the manufactory is derived from the town of Saruk near Isfahan.
The Geography of Persian Carpets
– Isfahan (Central Iran): This region is famous for its richly colored carpets with bold, contrasting colors, large floral motifs and a wide variety of designs. The most important carpets knotted in Isfahan are the sarouks, khaluls, mashhad carpets and damas. – Kashan (Central Iran): The carpets in this region are woven with very fine, delicate and bright colors and with soft and subtle patterns. The main carpets woven in Kashan are the Heriz and Khorasan carpets. – Khorasan (Northeast Iran): This region is famous for its very finely woven carpets with a very high knot density and very delicate colors. The main types of carpets knotted in Khorasan are natans, senjeds and mashals.
The development of oriental carpets and carpets
Oriental carpets are handmade textile floor coverings that are made on a loom. They are made all over the world and each region has its own specific designs. The earliest oriental carpets were knotted in Central Asia and Iran using the knotting technique. Today's oriental carpets have developed from the Tibetan, Chinese and Persian wool carpets of the 14th and 15th centuries. The oldest known oriental carpet is a Tibetan wool carpet that dates back to the 3rd century. In the 16th century, the Persians developed a new and superior weaving technique, the knotting technique. This new technique enabled weavers to incorporate much more intricate designs into their rugs.
The origins of the Persian carpet
The exact date when Persian carpets were first knotted is unknown. The art of weaving is believed to have originated in the tribal areas between Central Asia and the Middle East. It is likely that the loom was invented around the same time as the spindle. The first carpets were woven by nomadic tribes as floor coverings. These tribal rugs are called Caucasus rugs (Caucasus is a general term that includes people and cultures from Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus). The first Persian carpets were woven in the villages and towns of Iran. These carpets are called Persian carpets. The earliest surviving Persian carpets are a group of fragments dated to the 16th century.
A hand-knotted Persian rug is an authentic work of art that requires a great deal of effort, skill, patience and time. It is made entirely by hand and without the help of machines. The knots of a hand-knotted Persian rug are hand-tied with a single thread. Therefore, a hand-knotted Persian rug is much more valuable than a machine-knotted rug. Although large machines are used in the Persian carpet industry, the end product is knotted by hand.
In order to assess the value of a Persian rug, one should know the origin, quality, date and history of the rug. When choosing a Persian rug, you should know the difference between hand-knotted and machine-made rugs. There are different types of Persian carpets, e.g. B. Heriz, Ghiordes, Sarouk, Kashan, Baksha and Isfahan. The value of a Persian carpet is primarily determined by its quality, age and condition. The quality of a Persian rug depends on the materials used, the design and the color combinations. The materials used for a Persian rug can be silk, wool and/or cotton. A high quality Persian rug will use high quality materials, while a low quality Persian rug may use inferior materials. The design and color combinations of a Persian rug are important indicators of quality. A well-designed Persian rug is pleasing to the eye, while a poorly designed Persian rug looks unattractive. Likewise, the color combinations of a Persian carpet are an indication of the quality. A high-quality Persian rug features harmonious color combinations, while an inferior Persian rug features conflicting color combinations.