For many people the term "Persian rug" is synonymous with oriental rugs in
general. Certainly the variety of Persian rugs, from the sophisticated larger
versions made by master weavers to the smaller but no less charming nomadic
Persian rugs, is extraordinary. The colorings of Persian rugs are invariably
rich and deep, usually with a ground of crimson backing symbolic, figurative or
naturalistic motifs. Persian rugs vary in design and color depending on what
region they come from. Saruks, Hamodans, Kashans, and Kirmans, all named for the
towns they come from. The most usual material for Persian carpets and rugs was,
and is, wool, but particularly fine silk Persian rugs are now much sought after.
In fact, there is an old Persian saying: "The richer the man the thinner the
carpet", which refers to the superb quality of the finest silk Persian rugs.
The main advantage with Persian rugs is that the older they get the better
they look. Persian rugs are not deemed to be their best for some 30 to 40 years.
Persian rugs are characterized by their wonderfully rich colors and strong
designs and motifs. They are made using either wool or silk threads that are
knotted by hand and then backed onto a deep red weave backing. Although many
countries around the world use traditional Persian designs, all genuine Persian
carpets and rugs are made in Iran and nowhere else.
The selection and diversity of Persian rugs is astounding. Whilst this type of
rug can come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, from the small,
delicate tapestries made by hand to the huge carpets produced by expert weavers,
you will find that the majority of Persian rugs are made of wool. There are,
however, exceptions to this rule. Fine silk was sometimes used to create a
carpet for those rich or royal enough to afford it. These silk variations are
rather rare and of course very much sought after today.
One thing that is certain where a genuine Persian rug is concerned is that,
unlike a lot of other rug designs, it will invariably improve with age. In fact,
a rug is regarded as too new if it is less than thirty years old.
The Persian rug industry is one that began as a simple trade and developed into
an art form. There are a number of periods in history that stand out as
significant where the development of Persian rugs and tapestries is concerned.
The first, and perhaps the most notable, occurred between 1502 and 1722 during
the reign of the Safavid Dynasty, when a number of royal weavers were employed
to create new and exciting designs.
The design and color of your Persian rug depends on its place of manufacture,
and each one is named after the particular town in which it was weaved. The
Kirman design, for example, is usually made with a very pale red or blue dye and
tends to depict one central image or symbol, whilst the Kashan variety is often
green or ivory in color with wonderful curved patterns throughout.