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Classification of Iranian Carpet

It’s impossible to ascertain with any degree of certainty the weaving centre in Iran to which a particular carpet belongs. Innumerable small villages, a wide variety of nomadic tribes and now several centres of carpet weaving have emerged which makes it difficult to establish with any certainty the origin of a carpet.
Although the division between the village nomadic tribe based weaving and urban cultures has been dismissed in recent years, more established weaving groups in the weaving centres, retain their traditional allegiance to particular designs.
The classification of Persian carpets and their connection to one region depends on the form of designs, the kind of color, wool and knots, the size, the thickness of the pile, the quantity of weft (pood), the number of knots and many other particulars, which only the connoisseurs are able to know and distinguish.
Sometimes the name of a carpet is derived from the place were the transaction was made which is completely erroneous. For instance, the carpets actually woven in Hamedan or Kordestšn are popularly known as Musel (a city in Iraq).
Generally the Persian carpets are divided into two broad groups: Tribal Carpets and Rural or Urban Carpets.

Tribal Carpets

Tribal carpets are small in size, woven in a very short period of 3 o 4 months and in the form of a rug and runner. The tribal looms are made horizontally, easy to dismantle and pack to be loaded on horses, camels and other load carrying animals, with speed and ease.
The rugs are thick and woven in natural, sharp and bright colours. The knots are generally Ghiordes and sometimes Senneh.
The nomads often prefer geometrical designs, which they themselves create. Evidence also is the use of heraldic emblems or tribal coats-of-arm and even motifs.

Rural and urban carpets


The vast majority of Persian Carpets are made in the rural and urban centres where looms are positioned permanently. The carpets woven in the village workshops are generally thick and those woven in the urban centres are very fine.
Skilled artisans produce several beautiful carpets and designs in their private workshops; and sometimes in government run carpet centres.

Subdivision according to size

Persian carpets are generally woven in the following standard size.
Description Persian version Approximate size in cm.
Very small rug Poshti or Padari 60 x 90
Small rug Zar-o-charak 80 x 130
Small rug Zar-o-nim 100 x 150
Medium/small Musel 100 x 200
Medium rug Sajjadeh or Do-zar 150 x 210
Large rug Pardeh 150 x250
Small carpets Ghali 200 x 300
Medium carpets Ghali 270 x 370
Large carpets Ghali 300 x 400
Short runner Kharak 70 x 180
Long runner Kenareh 70-110x280- 1600
Wide runner Kalleghi 120-180x250-500
Besides these measurements square carpets are made also in Several workshops of Iran in a different dimension, and rarely are round carpets made in Tabriz, Esfahan and Nain workshops.
Sometimes one can find some huge, fine and exceptional carpets. Here below we mention two of them which were finished recently.
The first one is a very big carpet, (m. 35 x 20.70).
The carpet was created by 52 weavers in the city of Nain in 30 months under the supervision of Master Reza Zayandeh. The design which is the inspiration of the designer Akbar Zarrin Naghsh, represents the hunting scenery on the beige background of the carpet.
The centre of the carpet is decorated by the Lay-out of Shekh Lotf-ollah mosque. Another huge carpet which is considered as the biggest carpet made to date in all the world is a touch-silk carpet which a total surface of 1240 (m.40x31) and 500 million knots. This masterpieces was made by 40 skilful weavers in 4 years work in Najaf-Abad (Esfahan).

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