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Tabriz

 
Tabriz, capital of Azarbaijan, has for centuries enjoyed a great reputation as an important weaving centre in Iran. In this city, carpet weaving has had a long record.

During the period of Mongol domination (1221-1449), the city of Tabriz, together with the city of Harät (in ancient Khorasan), was one of the outstanding trade centres where the carpet industry was in its utmost stage of evolution. For many long years, Tabriz carpets, with their interesting designs, durability, fineness, and pleasant colours have always been sought after in Iran and abroad. In the last seventy years the prevailing designs consist of vases with flowers, trees, animals, hunting-scenes, Mehrabi (prayer rugs) with candelabra, branches and leaves with scattered tiny flowers, repeated panels, overall panels, and panoramic.

The dimension of Tabriz productions vary from the smallest up to the biggest sizes.

Depending on the design and the fineness of the rug, Tabriz craftsmen can tie about eight thousand to twelve thousand knots daily and those who are skilled and professional tie up to fifteen thousand knots a day. ri Tabriz, throughout the past years, numerous workshops have been installed and have been active, among which Sadaghiani, Dilmaghani, Tabfltabai, Emand, AIa-baft, Javan and Mashayekhi can be mentioned. Due to their artistic merit, the production of rugs in these factories were and still are in great demand by local and foreign buyers. Some of these designs have been copied by others weavers in different parts of Iran such as Ghom and Kerman as well as in Pakistan and Rumania.

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Tabriz, capital of the north western Iranian province of Azerbaijan, has for, centuries enjoyed a great reputation as a centre of Oriental culture, The vicissitudes of its history, its development from a naturally favored oasis at the foot of the volcano Sahand, to today’s commercial centre, and descriptions of its artists and craftsmen could fill many volumes. Here the author can only glance at those historical milestones which provide a rough
outline of its cultural contribution to the Oriental carpet.
The tradition that Tabriz was founded in the 8th century by the wife of Harun al-Raschid will not bear historical scrutiny. The origins of the town stretch far back into antiquity.
Genghis Khan (e.1162-1227), Timur (l336.l405) and Shah Ishmail I (1501-1524), the founder of the Safavid dynasty, all conquered this fulcrum between east and west and made it into one of the great cities of their empires. But it was in Shah Abbas the Great (1586-1628) that Tabriz found its most cultured patron. Wars and severe natural catastrophes such as devastation by earthquake have never overwhelmed the town and its people over the centuries.
In the middle Ages, Tabriz saw a blossoming of the fine arts which influenced the development of carpet design. Manuscript illuminators. Silk embroiderers miniature painters and metal workers all inspired the carpet weavers.
The catty 18th century saw the end of the Safavid Empire and the decline of the town. Craftsmanship fell into decay. When Heinrich Jacohi of Berlin set up his Persian carpet manufacturing company (Petog) in Tabriz in 1911, only an insignificant number of the hundreds of carpet workshops of earlier days remained. His restoration of traditional wool colors and carpet patterns led to a renaissance of weaving in the town.
Sizes: large variations, up to 12 sq. m (130 sq. ft.) and above.
Colors: dark red and powerful blue predominate, with ivory as a contrasting color.
Patterns: the typical Tabriz is a medallion carpet of baroque style appealing to the European taste in art. Patterns in endless repeats of rosettes and palmettos (the Shah Abbas pattern) are also part of the local repertoire.
Designs from all other areas are also woven.
Foundation: warps are mostly cotton; wefts either cotton or wool.
Knots: Turkish or Persian knots, up 2,500 knots per sq. dm (160 per sq. in.).
Pile: wool, generally clipped short to medium high; occasionally silk. The wool is somewhat dull, as is most obtained in Azerbaijan.
Quality: new products are generally good furnishing carpets but with some variations in quality. Old and antique traditional carpets, in most cases finely woven, are rare in the trade, and antique silk carpets rarer still.
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