What are Karaja Rugs?
Karaja rugs are a type of Persian rug woven in the northwestern region of Iran near Tabriz. Different spellings include Karadja and Karaje. They are similar in design to Heriz rugs although they often come in smaller sizes and have a slightly softer color palette. They are one of the most easily identifiable rug types because of their signature design described below.
Designs in Karaja Rugs
The most common design includes a single row of three distinctive hooked medallions. Karaja runners generally have more than three of these medallions. The medallions are typically surrounded by geometric and tribal style motifs. Note the easily identifiable characteristic medallion of Karaja rugs pictured below. One main border sandwiched between two smaller borders resulting in two total borders is typically found.
Colors in Karaja Rugs
They typically feature fields of reds, oranges, ivory and blues with red being one of the most common main colors. Other less common colors appear as highlight colors such as green, pink, and brown. These occur in the borders, medallions or smaller tribal patterns. Natural dyes were exclusively used in Karajas woven before WW2.
Structure of Karaja Rugs
They are woven with a wool pile on a cotton or wool foundation with a single weft, similar to a Hamedan or a Senneh. The single weft results in a smooth backside. Newer Karaja rugs typically have a cotton foundation. Turkish knots are used in Karajas. They are very durable due in part to their strong foundations. The edges usually have a double cord rather than the typical single cord found in Persian rugs. Note the weave in the Karaja rug below.
The pile is of medium to short length, close in length to a typical Hamedan rug. Although similar to Heriz rugs in design, Karajas typically come in smaller sizes and are commonly found in runner sizes. It is rare to find one larger than 5x7 with most around 2x3, 2x4 and 3x5. They also have a different weave with only a single weft. For someone looking for a Heriz style rug on a tighter budget Karaja rugs are a great solution, especially if you do not need a room-size rug. They will hold up well in mid- to high-traffic areas. This guide has many photos of Karaja rugs.
Also see more examples of Karaja rugs on our Pinterest Board and shop our selection of Karaja rugs below.