History of Carpets

The art of carpet weaving in Iran originated more than 2,500 years ago. Persian carpets and rugs were initially woven as articles of necessity to cover the floors of nomadic tribesmen, giving them protection from the cold and damp. The natural progression of the skill and craft involved in the creation of these works of art has been passed down from generation to generation over the centuries throughout periods of peace, invasion and war. As international trade developed, the variety of patterns and designs grew.

The Persian carpet has always received international praise and that is because it is considered as the highest level of art. An artistic creation that has constantly improved and has become richer and more beautiful throughout the years.

The Persian carpet is a valuable piece of history. It’s widely known for the beauty of its patterns, it’s intricately woven colours, durability and the years of labour that went into making each rug. The value of a Persian carpet is determined by various factors such as authenticity, quality of materials, fineness of the knots and beauty of colours and design. The variety of carpets and rugs in Iran is enormous. Some are considered highly precious and valuable while others are machine made are not so expensive.

Persian rugs whether made in tribal or city surrounding are all hand knotted, the weaver ties the material (whether it be wool or silk) around the warps of the foundation using one of several different knots. Each rug is made to a design, whether that design is copied from an intricate design plate or is inspired by the weaver, their surroundings and their way of life depends on the type of rug. After each row of knots is complete, individually tied using a variation of coloured wool to form patterns, a weft strand is tightly packed between the newly completed row and the one which is about to begin, keeping each knot firmly in place. The main materials used in Persian rugs are wool, silk and cotton. Sometimes camel or goats wool is used by tribal weavers.  The art of carpet weaving is common almost in all the cities and villages of Iran. The cities of Kashan, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Kerman, Qom, Nain, Sanandaj, Arak and Hamedan are the main centers where costly carpets are woven.

Iran is the birthplace of wonderful designs for carpets. The patterns of Iranian carpets are mostly inspired from those of the unique Iranian tile-works and miniature. Images of gardens, full of flowers and trees, different types of birds and animals, legendary creatures, scenes of hunting grounds and design, bestow a paradisiac beauty to Iranian carpets. Iranian carpets possess at once the 3 qualities of fineness, elegance and durability, and for these reasons are unique in the world. Carpet weaving is a complicated art, showing at the utmost level the talent, taste, perseverance and the creativity of Iranian artists. In addition, it requires months of ceaseless effort, work and high costs.

The examination of the art of carpet weaving requires an elaborated and detailed chapter in the history of arts in Iran. From a certain point of view this chapter seems endless!