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Zanjan rugs

In the province of Zanjan, three different kinds of carpets are made. The first is double weft and thick-woven, the second kind of carpets are those woven in Afsharieh with double-weft and with very fine designs and colours. Although they resemble those made in Bijar yet they cost much less because the structure, unlike that of Bijar, is not well balanced. The last category is similar to Hamedan rugs.

Carpets woven many years ago have had interesting colours such as light blue, light orange and black (a colour rarely used in Iran). Other colours that one can find in Zanjan productions are red, blue, brown and beige. The most common dimensions are Sajjadeh and runners


North Persia

One would search the literature in vain for an autonomous north Persian carpet weaving region: it does not exist Nevertheless, an attempt will be made here to join a number of centers into an identifiable carpet weaving area in north Iran. There is a close relationship between these weaving centers, in as much as they did not develop their own indigenous designs, but borrowed other old established patterns and wove them within their own idiom, occasionally with great success. The weaving centers of this newly defined north Persian group have been previously, rather awkwardly, included in north-west or central Persia, and are Kazvin, Kelardasht, Talcghan, Tehran and Varamin. In the country north of Tehran, carpet weaving did not develop into a significant industry. The south coast of the Caspian Sea offers the attractions of sub-tropical holiday resorts, and excellent conditions for agriculture. Rice, sugar cane and tea are grown here, as well as silk worms for the highly developed silk industry and the sturgeon hatcheries provide stiff competition for Russian caviar.
On the other hand there is no good pasture for sheep along the Elburz mountain range, which extends for 350 km (220 miles) and whose 5,000 m (16,400 ft.) high peaks covered in ‘perennial’ snow tower above the skyline of Tehran. Here mountain goats, chamoix and ibex eke out a meagre existence.
Nevertheless, it is worth while to look at the products of the small weaving villages since the occasional notable and desirable pieces comes onto the international market.


From this village close to the Caspian Sea and its surrounding area come pieces of interest for their unusual weaving method. Most of the carpets used to be made for private use on looms attached to the walls of the houses, However, the solidly woven pieces were soon recognized as a source of income and made to simple artistic patterns, mostly of rows of stepped hexagons, squares and octagons, the designs and colors of
Kelardasht carpets have their own original charm.
Sizes: all the usual carpet and rug sizes. Runner formats are less common,
Colors: the ground color is usually bright tile red.
Patterns: the total effect of the carpets resembles Caucasians, particularly in their use of reciprocal turreted borders, rosettes, hooked ornaments and simple stylized floral and geometric designs in the Caucasian style.
Foundation: the cotton warp and woolen welts lend Kelardasht carpets a hard dense structure.
Knots: .Coarsely woven in Turkish knots with up to 1,000 knots per sq. dm(65 per sq. in.).
Pile: the strong, but rather soft, wool is clipped medium high.
Quality: the originality of the designs and excellent durability place these Kelardasht carpets near the top of the medium to good class.


This town, which today has 50000 inhabitants, lies on the route from Tehran to Meshed on the southern spur of the Elburz range. In carpet books Semnan is often located in central Persia or Khorasan. The fineness of weaving, as well as the design and coloring, give credence to both connections, whilst on the other hand carpets from Semnan also share characteristics of north Persian carpets. In this instance, a
geographic attribution seems preferable to an ethnographic one, and for this reason the carpets of this 1,000 year - old town have been entered under the provenance of North Persia.

Sizes; room size carpets predominate up to 15 sq. m (165 sq. ft ); rugs up to 1.50 x 2.20 m (5 ft. x 7 ft. 3 in.) are also found.
Colors: pieces which resemble Isfahan rugs have mainly red colors, Those that relate better to Meshed products have a inure restrained
palette. Decorations and outlines are in various red and blue shades; other colors include yellow, a warm green, and ivory.
Patterns: two styles can he distinguished: eastern small and finely
articulated designs, often in endless repeats. and floral and medallion designs similar to those of south Persia. The Shah Abbas design is popular its borders as well as its the field, and as a corner resolution.
Foundation: warps and welts are mainly made of finely spun cotton and rugs have a hard, stiff handle.
Knots: Finely and very densely woven in the Persian knot with up to 2,500 per sq. dm (160 per sq. in.).
Pile: glossy, rather soft wool, clipped low, particularly in the rare old pieces and even rarer antique pieces.
Quality: old and antique pieces of this provenance are amongst the rarities too valuable to use on the floor. New production is small; a few furnishing pieces of high quality appear on the market.

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