Why Did Persian Carpets Become World-Famous?
Getting to Know Persian Carpets
If you’ve ever been to one of the carpet markets, you’ve probably been thrilled to see a world full of colors and beautiful motifs.
Observing all sublime craftsmanship and magnificence in a two-by-three or three-by-four frame or in any other shape and dimension may encourage anyone to purchase one of those exquisite carpets. Persian carpets are undoubtedly one of the most popular and well-known carpets woven around the world. Here we examine the reason for the popularity of Persian carpets.
History of Persian Carpet
Carpet experts believe that rug and carpet weaving have their origins in Asia. Researchers state that Iran, Turkmenistan and the Caucasus are the primary centers of carpet weaving. According to some texts, the art and craft of carpet weaving has existed long before the Birth of Christ. The famous Greek poet of the 7th Century BC mentions in his manuscripts a bed covered by a purple carpet. In their writings, other historians, poets, and authors have also mentioned that Iranians had a habit of resting on very soft and delicate carpets. A simple survey indicates that in addition to Iran, the craft and industry of carpet weaving had been popular in countries such as Turkey, Spain, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Caucasus, Pakistan, India, Egypt, China, and even Romania and the Balkan Peninsula.
Since Iranians were the first people who turned to make use of carpets and rugs, carpet weaving is now regarded as a craft which is specific to the Iranians. According to the survey results, the first carpet available in the world is a Persian rug called Pazyryk. During the excavations carried out by a group of Russian archaeologist in 1949, this carpet was discovered in the Pazyryk Valley of the Ukok plateau in the Altai Mountains, southern Siberia. The history of carpet dates back to Central Asia in the 6th and 5th millennium BC. The Persian Pazyryk carpet is considered to be the first and earliest handmade carpet in the world and it is believed to have been woven during the Achaemenid era. There is a very famous rug in Ctesiphon palace called Baharestan. The carpet is very magnificent and well-known in Islamic literature. Due to the splendor and elegance of carpets and rugs, this art has always attracted much attention and today, however, the decorative aspect of which is mostly considered.
Popularity of Persian Carpet
One of the main reasons why more international customers are now attracted by Persian carpets is that these carpets are more varied in color than those made in other countries, the quality of materials used in these carpets is better, they are woven with specific craftsmanship and the colors look vibrant and natural. In addition, the motifs of Persian carpets are very attractive and eye-catching. All of the above mentioned items have caused Persian carpets to become very famous and popular in the world.
Characteristics of Persian Carpet
Regardless of the geographical conditions, the carpets of various cities have their own differences and similarities. In some cases, the carpets are quite different because there are cultural differences between the two cities. For instance differences in textures, motifs, warp yarns and wool types. When a carpet is woven by two different skilled rug weavers and they also share similar motifs and appearances, sometimes only a carpet expert can discern the difference between the two carpets.
In general, a high quality carpet should have the following characteristics:
- There has to be twelve Raj-knots in a Zar.
- The wool has to be cut-off naturally and not by the lime.
- The sheep is expected to have been grazed in mountainous and lush areas.
- The dye used should be of high stability.
The following should also be considered when purchasing a carpet:
- Differences in the carpet motifs
- Differences in the carpet dimension
- Whether or not it enjoys natural dyes
- Whether or not there is a harmony in the carpet dyes
Carpet manufacturing companies can be found in most cities of Iran, however, in some other cities including Kashan and Aran o Bidgol (the capital of machine-made carpets in Iran), there are more manufacturing companies. In these cities, there are more than 700 manufacturing units active in the production of machine-made carpets. Carpets are also produced in other cities of Iran including Yazd, Mashhad, Delijan, Isfahan, etc. Undoubtedly, Persian carpets have long been world-famous and used by the people of all other countries and that is why Iran is currently one of the major exporters of the carpet.
Tabriz carpet is very different from other carpets. Tabriz carpets are of two types; coarse-textured and fine-textured carpets. Considering the motifs, materials and quality, these carpets are very different from other carpets. For example, the motifs of Tabriz carpets differ greatly from the ones used in Isfahan and Kerman carpets. Except for their specialized aspects, being able to distinguish the carpets and their characteristics is not that complex. A customer can somehow discern the quality of a carpet or a rug simply by taking a close look at the carpet and touching it. Considering the climate, geography and culture, the carpets of each area of Iran are different from the others.