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Tehran rugs

Almost a hundred and fifty years ago carpet weaving started in the few limited workshops of Tehran.

The creative and interesting design of Tehran carpets with their harmonious, pleasant and attractive colours usually are not familiar to everyone, yet one can easily distinguish the origin of the exquisite handicraft.

In effect, the skilful artist in Iran preferred to establish and create their masterpieces in Tehran.

One of the main reasons for the importance of the art and industry of carpet weaving in Tehran is the presence of numerous workshops and factories for washing, spinning and dyeing the first rate quality and standardised wool in the city and its outskirts. Moreover, the establishment of the National Carpet Company and its endeavour to achieve and improve the quality of carpets in Iran, the Carpet Museum, and finally the big bazaar where the most profitable carpet transactions take place influences to a great deal the importance of Tehran as being the centre of the art and industry of carpet weaving in Iran.

The Carpet Museum of Iran was inaugurated in Tehran in 1978. In this vast, beautiful museum with its facade showing the loom of carpet weaving one can find a collection of the most exquisite, priceless and precious carpets of Iran from the 17 century to the present time.

Presenting the collections of samples of different hand-woven carpets of different areas, research of the background, evolution and improvisation of the art of carpet weaving, and the temporary exhibitions of hand-woven carpets and kilims of Iran, are the aims of this museum. This museum, in addition to introducing and diffusing this art, is trying, by opening classes to teach the weaving, repairing and darning of hand-made carpets, to fulfill its cultural and education role.

If we add to this list of distinctive efforts of the Academy of Fine Arts and its competent and talented artisans, we realise to some extent the reasons behind the renowned name of Tehran carpet.

Due to immigration and the settling in Tehran of numerous weavers from various provinces of Iran, many different kinds of designs can be seen among Tehran carpets.

Most of the Tehran carpets have a light background.

Some are copied from ancient drawings and some are new and modern creations with medallion and corner, trees and animals, geometrical and multiple armlet designs. Portrait weaving is also one of the specialities of the skilled artist.

One of the most famous of these artist was Rassam Arab Zfldeh, (death February 1998) in whose workshop, until recently, many of the beautiful and precious carpets of Iran have been produced.

The wool used for weaving is of the best quality and to better enhance the design the pile is cut very short.

Tehran is one of the few places where the carpets are woven both with Persian and Turkish knots.

Some carpets are also woven in the surrounding villages of Tehran, such as Varamin, Taleghan and Garmsar


The runners and small rugs of Karaja, a weaving centre near Ahar in the Heriz area, are unmistakable.
Sizes: all formats up to 10 sq. m (110 sq. ft.) and larger. Runners arc especially common.
Colors: the ground is generally red, very occasionally light brown or blue. Borders are mostly dark blue.
Patterns: characteristic Karaja squares, alternating with booked hexagons, both with simple fillings in a Caucasian style are used in the field and borders.
Foundation: warps and wefts are cotton,
Knots: Turkish knotted, coarse to medium fine with 1,000 - 2,000 knots per sq. dm (65-130 per sq. in.).
Pile: medium to high depending upon the fineness of the weave.
Quality: low to medium in quality and in price. A carpet for everyday use. Very good pieces are rarely on the market.


About 50 kilometers (35 miles) south-east of Tehran on the road to Meshed, lies Varamin, one of the centers of the Mongol Empire in the 13th and 14th centuries- Architectural monuments remain to bear witness
to this time. In the recent past, the town developed into an important north Persian weaving centre that produced carpets and kilims of high quality for the market, especially that of Tehran. Small format rugs woven by nomads in earlier periods are now rare.
Sizes: principally room size carpets, 2 x 3 m (approx. 7 ft. 6 in. x 10 ft.) and above, up to 10 sq. m (110 sq. ft.). Early nomad pieces measure up to 2 sq. m. Runners are rare.
Colors: indigo, a very warm dark red and occasionally a light royal blue, Often served as field colors. Light beige, brown, red and mixtures of these shades, gold, and occasionally green, were used for ornaments and outlines. In general the carpets have a warm palette. As well as endless repeats based on rosettes the mina-khani design and stylized floral patterns were woven.
Foundation: warps and wefts are principally of cotton; nomad rugs often have wool wefts.
Knots: Persian knots, fine to very fine, 2.500-3,300 knots per sq. dm (160-225 per sq. in.), nomad rugs up to 2,000 knots per sq. dm (130 per sq. in.).
Pile: excellent quality wool, clipped very flat, nomad rugs are cut somewhat higher.
Quality: not only the town carpets hut also the increasingly rare nomad rugs belong to the highest quality Persian products and are extremely durable.

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