What is a Sarouk Rug?
Sarouk rugs are a type of Persian rug. Sarouk rugs are very attractive, and antique Sarouks are one of the most desired types of rugs by both rug dealers and retail customers alike. They are one of the best quality rugs from the Arak weaving district of central Iran and some of the most beautiful rugs in the east. They are made both in village and workshop settings.
Washed and Painted Sarouks
Before WW2, Sarouk rugs became very popular in America. American Sarouks first became popular because of their color. Unfortunately, many Sarouks that were imported before WW2 were chemically washed and painted to appeal to customers which had a detrimental effect on the condition of the carpet. Traditionally Sarouks were painted with dye to intensify certain colors and highlight patterns. Often the dyes used to paint the rugs were not colorfast and therefore bled when they were washed.
Characteristics of Sarouk Rugs
Hand knotted Sarouks usually have a distinguishing design of brightly colored detached floral sprays with or without a medallion. They may resemble an open field Kirman design. Some older pieces have tree of life designs, or designs of tree motifs including cypress trees or willows. They can also have animal motifs in the fields. There can be delicate stems that weave through the piece with leaves, buds and flowers. The borders usually have only three stripes; one broad main stripe with a vine with flowers, and a narrow guard stripe on each side. Sometimes the guard stripes have a simple vine design, or a floral pattern.
Sarouks designed for the European market were worked in an intertwining medallion design and are called Jozan Sarouks due to their resemblance to rugs woven in the town of Jozan. The Serabend, which consists of small repeated botehs, is a variant of the standard Sarouk.
Modern Sarouks have beautiful colors, graceful patterns and are well woven. Sarouks have soft, rich, dark colors like deep blues and reds, olives, greens, burnt orange and ivory. Light red, yellow and turquoise may be used as highlights. Older pieces can feel like velvet, and have more muted tones. The borders are usually a color that contrasts with the field color.
Foundation & Materials
Sarouks have a cotton foundation, with distinct blue weft threads. Persian knots are used in Sarouks, and the knotting can be very fine. The wool is of excellent quality, and the finished carpet is very durable. The pile can either be clipped close or left a little long. The wool in antique Sarouks is high quality and the pile feels velvety. Their resale value is very steady. Sometimes lesser quality Mahal rugs are represented as Sarouks which a buyer should be aware of. Sarouk designs are also copied in India, Romania and China.
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