Wool Persian rugs are one of the most well-known and desirable types of Oriental rug on the market. They are so popular in fact, the phrase "Persian rug" is often used interchangeably with "Oriental rug". Persian rugs are actually a type of Oriental rug woven in Persia, which is now known as Iran. An Oriental rug is generally defined as any rug woven in the geographical region spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Although there is some debate, many experts attribute the oldest known carpet, the Pazyryk dated from the 5th century BC, to Persia. The highly developed pictorial design and fine weaving found in the Pazyryk indicate weaving began long before the Pazyryk was made.
The height of Persian rug weaving was reached during the Golden Age of Oriental rug making in the 15th and 16th centuries. Highly skilled craftsmen and weavers were brought to the Persian capital of Isfahan at this time to design some of the most elegant handwoven rugs the world has seen. They were constructed with only the finest materials and featured elegant, intricate curving designs. These rugs are used as a model in several countries and their designs are still copied today.
Styles of Persian rugs
Persian rugs are one of the most diverse types of Oriental rug on the market, from the materials used to weave them to the designs found in each type. They are often broken into two categories: those which are woven in cities and those woven in villages. The city rugs such as Kashan and Tabriz rugs are more formal with curvilinear designs and utilize the finest materials similar those woven in Isfahan. These rugs are woven in workshops where weavers are often commissioned by a company. Rugs woven in villages such as those woven in the Hamedan region are often smaller in size and have a unique character. These village rugs are identified by a more tribal design and are less uniform in nature. Learn more about the types of Persian rugs.
Rugs made in Iran are typically named for the region they were woven in such as Tabriz or Isfahan. Handmade Persian rugs come in all sizes from mat size to room- and palace-sized carpets. There are hundreds of different color combinations and designs found in Persian rugs. Common designs include intricate floral patterns, geometric designs, or central medallions. They are typically woven with a wool pile on cotton foundation, however many tribal carpets have wool foundations. Some city rugs are woven with silk on cotton or silk on silk foundations. Camel or goat hair may also be used in certain types of Persian rugs. Many are woven with Persian knots, although some, especially in the northwestern region of the country use Turkish knots. Traditional Persian rug designs are widely copied in other countries including India and Pakistan. Vintage Persian rugs add character and elegance to any space.