The Nain belongs to the most famous Persian carpets with knot numbers reaching more than 1.000.000 knots per square meter. Three quality levels exist: 4La, 6La and 9La. The smaller the number, the finer and more expensive the carpet. In very special cases, silk is incorporated as a material. A classical Nain comes in the colors of blue and beige.
Nain carpets belong to the most famous Persian carpets. Nains are knotted in the houses of the weavers in the same-named city. These very fine carpets partially possess knot densities with more than 1.000.000 knots per square meter. They are categorized in three different quality levels, which are 4La, 6La and 9La. “La” translates into layer and measures the number of single twines that form the warp thread. The smaller the number, the thinner the warp threads and therefore the finer the carpet. Thus, the most precious level is 4La. The warp can consist of wool or cotton, and wool for the weft. In the case of particularly high value Nains, silk is utilized for weft, warp and pile, too. The carpets are knotted with an asymmetrical knot (Persian knot). The classical color scheme of a Nain is beige and blue, in some rare cases red or green is used instead of blue. Typical for a Nain is a centrally placed medallion surrounded by flowers and arabesque patterns.
Sarough carpets are made in the eponymous village in the west of Iran. They can roughly be divided into three categories: The antique “American” Saroughs, which were made mostly for the US-american market (hence the name “American”), the regular Sarough and the Sarough Mir with their independent diamond pattern without a medallion. These resilient carpets come usually in the colors of red, blue and beige and have a knot density of about 250.000 knots per square meter.
In the midwest of Iran lies the village of Sarough. Sarough carpets are made in and out of this Village. At the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of Saroughs were exported to the United States due to their high popularity there. The patterns of these Saroughs were designed to suit the taste of US-American buyers. Nowadays, these so-called antique “american” Saroughs are highly sought-after collectibles, which also have found their way to Europe. These old “american” Saroughs predominantly had umbel motives. Other Saroughs have usually a centrally placed medallion with floral motives. Next to this pattern, carpets without a medallion or with Herati pattern are common. Except for Sarough Mir carpets. These carpets have their own independent design, which is recognizable by the diamond patterns in the inner field of the carpets. In addition, the Sarough Mirs have a brighter color than their other counterparts do. Predominant colors of a Sarough are red, blue and beige. Saroughs are knotted with high quality wool, which is why they are very resilient. Weft and warp are made of cotton, the pile is made of fine lamb’s wool. Further, a knot density of about 250.000 knots per square meter and a high pile height contribute to the premium quality of a Sarough.
With its superb craftsmanship and materials, a Tabriz belongs to the finest carpets Iran has to offer. They are professionally knotted in carpet factories. Tabriz are also famous for their impressive patterns and designs. The quality of a Tabriz is assessable by its number of Raj (40 Raj to 70 Raj). The more Raj a Tabriz has, the finer it is.
Tabriz is the capital of the province East-Azerbaijan and with about 1,6 million citizens one of the biggest cities of Iran. With superb materials and workmanship, Tabriz carpets belong to the top quality carpets of Iran. They are professionally weaved in carpet-factories, which mainly are located inside of town. But fine carpets are also weaved in the surroundings of Tabris. When talking about Tabris carpets, the term “Raj” recurs. Raj defines the quality of Tabriz carpets. One Raj measures how many knots a row of 70 mm contains and thus defines the fineness of the carpet. A Tabris with 60 Raj has 60 knots at a width of 70 mm respectively about 600.000 knots per square meter. Common types of Tabriz have 40 Raj to 60 Raj. In rare cases, one can find 70 Raj carpets with up to 1.000.000 knots per square meter. Tabriz are knotted with a Turkish knot. Weft and warp consist of cotton, the pile can be made of cork wool, new wool or even silk. The design of Tabriz carpets varies heavily. Common patterns are medallions placed in the center and surrounded by garden and arabesque motives. Another common design is that of a Mahi pattern with a centralized medallion. The colorings of Tabriz carpets are as different as the designs. Next to the Iranian made Tabriz, carpets exist that are hand-knotted in India, the Indo Tabriz. Their designs are patterned on the Iranian ones and their quality is equally high. However, Indian made Tabriz have a lower knot density and thus cost less.
Belutch carpets are hand-knotted in the border area of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Different tribes who have managed to save their own independent patterns over centuries knot them. These robust carpets usually appear in dark red tones as well as in blue tones. They are roughly categorized in Mashad Belutch and Herat Belutch.
The Belutch carpet is named after the tribe of Belutch, who knot this rug. This tribe is located in the border area of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nowadays, mostly other tribes knot Belutch carpets in their houses but nomads knot them, too. All of the different tribes have their own specific patterns, which have one common feature: their geometric forms. A Belutch can be categorized in Mashad, Herat and Afghan Belutch. The Mashad Belutch may also have figurative motives. Lamb’s wool is used for warp and woof, depending on the region the carpet comes from, jute can be used as well for the warp. The carpets are knotted with a Persian (asymmetric) knot. Overall, Belutch carpets are fine knotted and thus durable carpets. The majority of them is colored in dark red tones. Next to these colors, blue is a much used color.
For more than one thousand years, carpets are knotted in and out of Hamadan, whereby the term Hamadan is a generic term for a variety of carpets made specifically in that region. Today, antique Hamadans are sought-after. Hamadans are knotted with a Turkish knot. Characteristic features of a Hamadan are medallions and geometric patterns.
The city of Hamadan is located in the Northwest of Iran and is the capitol of the eponymous province. Carpets are knotted for more than one thousand years in this industrial city. Also, Gabbehs are produced in Hamadan. In the market, the term Hamadan is used as a generic term for carpets originating from different areas in the region. The Hamadan carpet family includes carpets such as Bibikabad, Hosseinabad, Lilian, Malayer, Tuserkan and many more. Hamadans were produced in a state-owned manufactury in the past, but they are produced in private carpet factories nowadays. A special feature of Hamadan carpets is the Hamadan binding. This binding works with a Turkish knot. When a row is knotted, the next row will only contain a thick weft, again followed by a row of knots. As for the warp, cotton is used, the weft utilises wool and the pile either wool or camel’s hair. The dominating colors are blue and red as well as yellow sometimes. The patterns differ. A central medallion and geometrical forms occur frequently, occasionally animal or human patterns as well. Antique Hamadans are especially sought due to their higher quality compared to the carpets made today. During the time, Hamedan has evolved to an industrial city with a lot of spinnings, dye-works and carpet-factories. Since Hamedan is a commercial intersection, carpets are produced in masses in and out of Hamedan. In Hamedan carpets are being produced for over thousand years. In the market the term Hamedan is used for a variety of other carpets. Hamedan also plays a vibrant role in the production of Gabbeh carpets. A special feature of Hamedan carpets is the Hamedan binding. This binding works with a Turkish knot. When a row is knotted, the next row will only contain a thick weft, again followed by a row of knots. As for the warp, cotton is used, the weft utilises wool and the pile either wool or camel’s hair. Dominant colors are blue, red and sometimes green or the natural color of camel’s hair. The motives vary heavily. Usually, the center of a Hamedan contains a medallion as well as human or animalistic figures. Further carpets that can be considered to the Hamedan category of carpets are Bibikabad, Hosseinabad, Khamseh,, Lilian, Malayer,Tuserkan, Zanjan and many more. Today the most sought-after Hamedan are semi-antiques and antiques.
Isfahan is a world famous city in Iran. The finest Persian carpets are made in Isfahan, with 650.000 to 1.000.000 knots per square meter and silk incorporated in the carpets. Another highlight are the very sharp figures and motives Isfahans have due to the very fine knotting.
One of the most famous cities of Iran is Isfahan in the same-named province. It also is the capitol of the province and with 1,8 million citizens, Isfahan ranks among the biggest cities of Iran. Isfahan once was the capitol of the whole Persian empire. This prestigious and history-charged city is also very popular among tourists. Many arts are taught in Isfahan, for instance painting, lithography, mosaic art and of course the art of carpet weaving. Majestic carpets are knotted by professional hands. Isfahan carpets belong to the best of what Persian carpet factories have to offer. With a knot density of 650.000 to 1.000.000 knots per square meter, Isfahans rank among the finest of Persian carpets. The design of Isfahans is oriented towards the city’s palaces, gardens and mosques. In addition, hunting scenes, images of nature or Herati patterns are common for Isfahans. Since material and workmanship are superb and unbeatable, the weavers are able to display very sharp figures and motives. An asymmetric knot (Persian knot) is utilized. Warp and weft are either made of cotton or silk, the pile is made of high quality wool such as cork wool or silk as well.
Qashqais, also known as Ghashghai, are descendants of Turkic-speaking nomad tribes, who travelled from Central Asia to Iran and mostly settled in southern Iran. They form a political union along with Kurds, Lurs, Persians and Arabic descent Iranians.
The Qashqai are known for their production of carpets, which is a century old tradition among the Qashqai. Looking from an artisanal point of view, Qashqai carpets are ranked among the finest carpets in South Iran. Even Shiraz carpets of higher quality are labelled as Qashqais. The carpets are knotted with ivory-colored warp threads fully made of wool. Next to Qashqai Gabbehs, the carpets are tied with asymmetrical knots. The weft yarns are red or natural wool colored. The borders are varicolored. Another dominating color is dark blue. Usually, the carpets are produced with “Boteh”, “Herati” or “Hebatlu” motives. Characteristic feature of these motives are hooked diamonds in the corners as well as in the centre. Further, you will find elements of plants and animals throughout the inner field of the carpets. Next to regular carpets and Gabbehs, the Qashqai also produce flat woven fabrics, including big bags (“Mafrash”) and small handknotted saddle bags.
The small village of Kashan is known for its weaving art. These usually red carpets are decorated with lots of floral and garden patterns and a medallion placed in their centers. Collectors seek to find particularly antique Kashans.
At the edge of the desert Dasht-e-Kavir, in Iran’s province of Isfahan, lies the city of Kashan, also referred to as Keshan. Kashan and its surrounding villages are famous for their weaving art, which reaches back to the medieval times. Next to its carpets, Kashan is also known for its ceramics. Although the quality of Kashans can vary, the majority of them are premium high quality. Particularly antique Kashans are sought-after. The knot density starts at 250.000 knots per square meter. The carpets are knotted with an asymmetric knot (Persian knot), weft and warp consist of cotton and the pile is made of high-grade wool. The most common pattern of a Kashan is a diamond-shaped medallion in the center of it, surrounded by garden and/or figurative motives. These fine carpets usually have a red basic color with blue borders and edges, but combinations of beige and blue are popular as well. Kashan carpets, also referred to as Keshan, come from the city of Kashan and the nearby villages in central Iran's Isfahan Province. These handwoven carpets share a long tradition in Iran which dates back to the Safavid period. These premium and popular carpets use new wool which is knotted to a cotton warp. Like other carpets, Kashan carpets are woven with asymmetric knots, also known as “Senneh knots“, as well. Next to these, Kashan carpets exist which have both a cotton warp and cotton woof. The classic pattern of Kashan carpets mostly consists of a centrally placed medaillon, which is surrounded by figurative figures such as flowers for instance. Concerning the colors, Kashans are predominantly produced in red, blue and beige tones.
Kelim is a collective term for flat woven fabrics that are made in every region of the Orient. Every country and region has its own typical pattern. While young people tend to buy current Kelims with modern designs, collectors aim for antique Kelims.
Kelims have a very long tradition in the oriental world. In Turkish, the term Kelim translates into carpet. In a broader sense, Kelim is collective term for many flat woven fabrics from the east. In contrast to other oriental carpets, Kelims are woven and not knotted. Thus, the impression is created that a Kelim rather looks like a cloth than a carpet. Originally made by nomads for various purposes, Kelims nowadays are mostly produced in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Morocco and Turkey. Since Kelims come from different regions, there designs differ as well. Their patterns already exist for a thousand years. Every country and region has its own distinctive pattern and manufacturing process. While many young people buy a Kelim for its modern and plain Ethno-design, collectors tend to buy very precious antique Kelims woven by nomads. Conditioned by the weaving looms Kelims are made with, weaving carpets with extravagant patterns is constrained. Common designs include geometrical patterns such as triangles, but also little animals over the entire carpet are common.
Loribaft carpets are a particular valuable form of Gabbeh carpets. They possess a very fine and close knotting, which is why the production of Loribaft carpets takes fives to six times longer than that of ordinary good Gabbehs.
Due to the longer manufacturing time, less carpets are produced. Their rareness results in a higher exclusivity. This manufacturing method makes the Loribaft carpets more robust and resistant. Characteristic for nomads residing in the southern Iranian province of Fars is the traditional pattern of the Loribaft carpets. The majority of the carpets are hand-knotted by nomadic Ghashghai tribes in the surrounding area of Shiraz. Only hand spun lamb's wool (warp and woof) and natural dyed colors, mostly in red and beige tones, are used. Vibrant colors and sharp contrats are the reasons, why these traditional Persian carpets have found their way in modern interiors today.
The carpets from and around the holy city of Mashad are very robust knotted. Mashads have inner fields with extensive floral ornaments and usually a centrally placed medallion. Their quality varies from mediocre to premium.
Lying In the north of the province Khorasan, Mashad is the capitol of the province. About 2,7 million inhabitants live in Iran’s most sacred city, which hosts the shrine of Imam Reza. The wool used for manufacturing the carpets is very soft due to the conditions of the landscape in and around Mashad. However, with weft and warp made of cotton, the carpets turn to be very resilient. The quality of the carpets varies between low and high. Mashads are not as fine as other carpets since they are knotted on fixed looms and therefore have lower knots per square meter. The carpets usually own a central medallion, in some cases carpets are knotted without a medallion but with an inner field full of ornaments. The dominating colors are mostly red on the inner field and blue in the borders.
Kurdi Carpets These long lasting carpets are mainly handwoven by kurdish people in the iranian provinces of Khorasan and North-Khorasan. Therefore they are referred to as Kurdi or Kordi carpets. In addition, Kurdi carpets can come from other regions as well, for instance from Western Iran or from the turkmen-afghan region since carpet weaving kurdish tribes have also settled in those areas. The Kurds have spread all over the Orient, which makes a uniform classification of patterns and quality difficult. Nevertheless, they possess two significant properties: Their beauty and robustness. They are woven with various patterns, which still are all characteristic for Kurdi carpets. Herati patterns, medaillons and geometrical forms can be mentioned here as examples. When it comes to colors, the carpets are mainly held in blue and red shades.
In Iran’s province of Khorasan, Mouds belong to the finest carpets. Mouds exist inter alia in two types, for instance those with medallions and those with Herati pattern. Among the Mouds, those with medallions belong to the top-selling ones. A precious material incorporated in Mouds is silk.
Moud carpets come from the area around the city of Birdjand, located in the southern part of the Iranian province Khorasan. The carpets are knotted mostly during wintertime. Moud carpets belong to the highest-grade carpets this area has to offer. In the 1950s a weaver from the city of Moud, located 30 km away from Birdjand, made these carpets famous. He was the first who created a design with a medallion in the center of the carpets. Mouds with medallions belong to the most sold types of Moud. Next to the medallion design, Herati or Mahi patterns and garden motives can be seen on many Mouds. Usually, Mouds are colored in beige and blue, but sometimes red and green tones find their way into the carpets. Warp and weft consist of cotton, the contours and outlines are made of silk to give the carpets a shiny glance. Moud carpets display excellent processing due to their high-quality new wool used for the manufacturing. As a result, Moud carpets are very robust. The carpets are handwoven with double warp yarns and asymmetric knots, also known as “Senneh knots“. Some of the Moud carpets have silk woven in, which gives the carpets a shiny glance. Moud carpets have different designs. Among the most well-known designs are the Herati pattern, either with or without a central placed medaillon as well as the garden pattern, which is recognizable by its squares containing motives of plants and flowers.
Loribaft Loom Carpets
The Loribaft Loom differs from a Persian Loribaft in two aspects: First, they are handmade in Bhadohi, India and second, a different type of weaving loom is used. These weaving looms require less effort for the weavers, which results in a lower price of the carpets. Craftsmanship and used materials are high-grade, identifiable inter alia by the soft pile these carpets have.
The difference between a Persian Loribaft and a Loribaft Loom is that the origins of these carpets differ as well as the way they are produced. While the Persian Loribaft are handknotted by nomad tribes in southwest Iran, the Loribaft Loom are handmade in the city of Bhadohi in India. In Bhadohi, another type of weaving loom is used which enables to produce carpets with a classical or modern Gabbeh-design but with less effort. Thus, the Loribaft Looms cost less. The wool used is high grade, which results in very soft and comfortable, yet robust carpets. One restraint of these indian weaving looms is that they do not enable complicated patterns and design to be made. Therefore, the Loribaft Looms come either with plain geometrical patterns or completely without patterns.