persian carpets, Iran, travelling, holidays, vacations, carpet colors, Tabriz, Hamaden, Isfahan

The Secret Behind the Incredible Persian Weaves

Knut Larson, Swedish writer rightly said "The Persians preserve their carpet culture carefully. Their art of weaving carpets is something superior, it is the best in the world".

Do you know that at Iran, carpets woven in towns and regional centres like Tabriz, Kerman, Mashhad, Kashan, Isfahan, Nain and Qom are characterized by their specific weaving techniques and colours and patterns?!

In Persia, weaving and dying is an inherited art which is passed on from generations to generations and has a great cultural significance. Persian carpets or rugs are made of wool, cotton and silk and come in various sizes and styles. The different carpet colours symbolise unique emotion and character along with the province where it originated from.
- Green is the colour associated with the Prophet Mohammed and refers to hope, renewal and paradise; 

- Red invokes happiness, joy, luck, courage, wealth and a vibrant life force.
- Blue symbolizes solitude, honesty, power or the afterlife.
- Brown is the colour of fertility, a reminder of earth and soil.
- Yellow suggests the sun and often reserved for, royalty and rulers.
- White could mean purity and peace or mourning and grief.
- Black is forceful, could edge into destructive, and is typically used for outlines and borders, to define a precise design.

Another very interesting point is, Persian weavers use a variety of indigenous and imported plants, insects and sea creatures to obtain various colours for their carpets. Snails, beetles, flowers and weeds from ground cochineal to dried pomegranate, dyed sheep and goat wool are used for carpet wefts. The madder root which produces a rich dye is a traditional source of colourant for spun wool.

I was also amazed when I learnt that looking at the carpet design and colour, one will know which region of Iran it gets weaved. Here it is -

Tabriz is the main weaving centre in Iran and its designs consist of vases with flowers, trees, animals, hunting, scenes, Mehrabi (Prayer rugs) with candelabra, branches and leaves with scattered tiny flowers.

- Isfahan carpets are mostly in dark blue and turquoise, beige, buff - white, red and the weaver’s signature is woven on them.


   Hamedan weaves out the floral and stylish pattern 

- Bijar province has Ghiordes (Turkish)knots and is thick piled with the dominant colours in this region being red, blue, indigo, ivory and pink.


 The colour of the carpets woven in Qom is as vast and various as its designs.  The dyers utilise natural or steady chemical colour, preferably pastel, turquoise, mustard, golden yellow, bright red, dark blue and beige.

The quality of a carpet depends on several parameters: the quality of the material (Khorasan wool, angora wool, silk), the density of nodes (from 50,000 to 1,200,000 per square meter) and the type of nodes (symmetrical Turkish node, asymmetrical Persian knot giving finer drawing). So, remember while buying a Persian carpet –

- To check for natural colours, bend the carpet and isolate a few threads. If you could notice a subtle unevenness, it is made of natural dye.
- Wool rugs are affordable than the silk rugs because of the higher knot count. 
- A handmade rug will have a soft backing with a few bigger knots. 

It is said that in every Persian carpet there is an error made by the weaver to avoid ridiculing the belief that only Allah is perfect, and I feel this error also makes every carpet, a unique piece.

The Persian carpets are a symbol of extensive craftsmanship and hence if you own one, it would never go out of style! Let the beauty of what we love, be what we have.

Comments (12)

Ishita Chopra Posted on Dec 10, 2018

what a lovely post! As much as we love these weaves, i had no idea that there is so much meaning and symbology behind it. Thanks for sharing it.


Garima Dwivedi Posted on Dec 09, 2018

Quite an interesting read. Thank you for the tips to look out for when buying these. Do you recommend any specific places where we can get authentic Persian carpets?


Jayshree Bhagat Posted on Dec 09, 2018

Persian carpets are definitely world known but knowing so amazing things about this is great.

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Priyanka Patwari Posted on Dec 08, 2018

Never knows the secret behind Persian carpets... I love to read the article and the thought too. Love the concept of colours

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Deepa Posted on Dec 08, 2018

I am a big fan of Persian weaves especially carpets. This is a very informative post. I didn\'t know many things mentioned here.

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Manasi Popat Posted on Dec 08, 2018

Thank you for sharing this unique piece of information. Yes I have heard too that Persian carpets never go out of style. I love the detailing.

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Snehalata Jain Posted on Dec 08, 2018

Din\'t know much about the varietyin Persian carpets.Now your blog has given much information.Good to know about Persian heritage as well.

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Purva Posted on Dec 08, 2018

Wow didn\'t know that details wary from region to region. Very informative post! Loved reading it

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Milan Posted on Dec 08, 2018

The craftsmanship that goes behind making a persian carpet is amazing; thanks for giving a sneak peek . Wonder if someone spreads a silk carpet , do they step on it:)

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Sandy N Vyjay Posted on Dec 08, 2018

You have provided a wonderful insight into the fascinating world of Persian Carpets. The information of the meaning of colours and also how the weavers get the colours they want makes for very interesting reading.

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Heena Dhedhi Posted on Dec 07, 2018

I love the thought that goes behind intentionally weaving an error into the carpet so as to keep it unique and a bit less than perfect.

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Dhanya . Govindakrishnan Posted on Dec 06, 2018

Well written . In fact well woven words for exotically woven carpets . From sea creatures to pomegranate seeds! amazing they are. Different designs for different regions. And at the end made erroneously perfect. . Thank you for giving good information about Persian carpets.

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Deepa Dwarkanath

VP HR DriveIT Technologies, Hydrebad. An MBA in HR and Marketing. Also an active baker, loves cooking and reading. Was previously associated with Wandertrails as a part-time Content Writer.

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