By Jessica Allan
Tabriz rugs are a type of Persian rug woven in the northwest of Iran near the Turkish border. Tabriz is the capital of the province of Azerbijan, and is one of the leading carpet-weaving centers of the world. Tabriz has been on a popular route of caravans passing south and east through the country for many years. Its location is one of the major contributing factors to its popularity as a trading center. Many of the earlier Tabriz weavers were Kurds. Weavers of Tabriz today are most commonly contracted by foreign companies who determine the character of workmanship(3). Tabriz is famous for its silk prayer rugs and its copies of famous old hunting carpets(1).
Common designs in Tabriz rugs include medallion centers, with or without an open field, and tree of life designs(1). Other patterns include garden designs and all-over hunting or animal designs. Some can contain diamond centers with concentric medallions surrounding the center. Flowers in Tabriz rugs can resemble those found in Kirmans(2,3). Antique Tabriz rugs are very popular among collectors. Tabriz rugs usually have distinctive colors including burnt orange, persimmon, light blue, green and more. They don’t usually include deep reds. The Persian knot was used in antique Tabriz rugs, while the Turkish knot is used today(2).
The foundation in Tabriz rugs is usually cotton, however some more exceptional pieces use silk. The cotton foundations have varying qualities from fairly coarse to very fine. Heavy wefting in Tabriz rugs provides durability. The pile is clipped shorter in finer Tabriz rugs. They are reproduced in India in a full range of sizes for export to the US(2,3).
For more examples of Tabriz rugs check out our Pinterest board!
(1) Bennett, Ian. Book of Oriental Carpets and Rugs. New York, The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1972. Print.
(2) Jerrehian, Aram K. Jr. Oriental Rug Primer; Buying and Understanding New Oriental Rugs. Pennsylvania, Running Press, 1980. Print.
(3) Hawley, Walter A. Oriental Rugs Antique and Modern. Ebook. Release May, 20 2012. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/39740/39740-h/39740-h.htm>