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Arak rug

 
The central province and its capital Arak (former Sultan-Abad) is one of the most important carpet producing centres in Iran.

The carpet weaving in this area dates back to the time when Shah-Abbas the Great, gave his consent for the settling of a group of Armenians in that area. Among them there were many skilled weavers, but the main progress occurred during the reign of the Gajrtr dynasty. The basic reasons for the development of the carpet weaving industry was due to the fact that many merchants from Azarbaijan invested conspicuous sums of money for supplying and exporting carpets to the German markets.
Moreover, many foreign companies opened branches in Arak, for business enterprises and exportation purposes. The most famous of them was an English firm, Ziegler, which established workshops and installed looms (in 1883 in Sultan for producing carpets according to the demand of the European market.

After the defeat of the Germans and their allies in the First World War, Arak lost most of its best customers.

Soon after that, the economic crisis in America (1929) and its extension to almost all parts of the world caused a grave setback in the carpet industry in Iran. This decline continued even during the Second World War.

Fortunately, after a very short period, with the effort and support of a great number of Persian capitalists this art regained its activity once again. The reason for the changes resulting from these wars and the depression was that the foreign companies, were forced to close their branches in Iran.
It became necessary for them to transact their business activities through Persian merchants, who themselves turned over the orders to the local capitalists in different regions of Iran.

Most of the carpets woven in Arak are of medium quality but there are some valuable Sarugh and Farahan carpets that are highly regarded by buyers and collectors. The colours used for these carpets are mostly herbaceous. Except for Farahan carpets, all the others woven in the area of Arak have Senneh knots. In this locality it is almost rare to find fraudulent knots (ghreh-jofti). The wool of the Arak carpets is of the best quality. The design of the carpets, which y the way are very limited in this region, differs from region to region. With the previous experience they had with foreign companies, the carpet weavers in Arak always used cartoons in the weaving process. Their sketches were usually composed of branches and leaves with blue borders and a rose-coloured background.

The carpet weaving centres of this province are as follows:
Sarugh, Tafresh, Farahan, Lilihan
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