For many years people have used different things to symbolize their feelings, thoughts and beliefs. Colours are one of those things that human beings have used to express themselves.
Based on Persian mythology Ahura Mazda or the god of truth, was light and his first daughter was colour, so we can see lots of colours in Iranian art before and after Islam. Colours can directly affect our soul, and our behaviours and Iranian artists were aware of this, so they use them wisely in different kinds of arts like architecture, rug design, etc.
One of the most important colours in Persian culture is red. For example in the northwest of Iran bride’s dress used to be red symbolizing love, passion, and health. Iranian people celebrate Yalda (the longest night of the year) and they spatially eat pomegranates and watermelons on that night because the red colour symbolizes life or being alive, active and healthy and warmth in the winter. Also, red apples as a symbol of health and happiness are a part of the old tradition of Norouz to celebrate the Persian new year.
The most significant example of using red colour is in Persian rugs for decades. Weaving a rug for Persian weavers is like writing a book about what they like, what they think or what is crucial to them and by weaving rugs, they pass them through the next generations. Sometimes they use some colours or symbols because they believe it can protect and help those who are using that rug!
there are different ways to make red colours sustainably from thousands of years ago that two of them are the most popular. One of them is to use Madder, which is a kind of plant that artists use the roots for dyeing wool, cotton or silk piles. Madder is native in most regions in Iran.
The second way is using Cochineal. It’s an insect that is using in food colour too! Madder and cochineal both can produce the best quality of red colours and they are both eco-friendly and organic. overall there is always some reason behind every colour or motif in Iranian art. as red is the symbol of love so I wish you all a long healthy life, full of love.