Sarough is a small town located in the northern city of Arak. It is located 45 km from the city and is situated in a mountainous region with a cold and dry climate. The people in Sarough are mainly engaged in livestock and agriculture. The town has a long history of more than 700 years in carpet weaving, especially among women. The town is part of the larger weaving centers in Iran, which include the cities of Arak, Farahan, and Sarough. In addition to the town of Sarough, there are also other small towns and villages nearby which are also famous for their weaving and can be mentioned as Jirya.
In many sources, Sarough carpet is considered equivalent to Ardebil carpet (Sultanabad carpet), although both types of carpet may have high demand in terms of quality, they are structurally different. Currently, more than 60% of the carpet production in the Ardebil region is of the Sarough type.
The main structure of the Sarough carpet
The main structure of the Sarough carpet is a fine weave, with very short pile heights. The pile height in most Sarough carpets is less than 10 millimeters, and it is woven with 25 to 35 knots per strand in the Persian style. This type of weave and short pile height results in a final effect that appears as a hard and compact texture. The choice of warp in the carpet weavers of this region is vertical in more than 90% of the cases and horizontal warps are only used in very limited cases in some rural areas of the region.
The main occupations of the people in the Sarough region are animal husbandry and agriculture. As a result, many of the colors used in Sarough carpets are derived from natural materials produced by the farmers in the region. The materials used to weave the Sarough kilim are also natural and in many cases come from the wool of the local sheep and goats. The fibers obtained from these animals are naturally protein-based and are divided into two groups: acidic and basic. To properly bond the colors to the fibers, natural colors with similar structures must be used. In Sarough carpets, priority is given to using natural colors, which are often dark. The most important colors used in the region include brown, beige, blue, red, green, cream, and yellow.
Sarough carpets are famous for their unique and attractive designs, which have made them popular not only in Iran but also in many countries around the world. The most important feature of Sarough carpets is their appealing patterns, which were traditionally based on floral and fauna motifs, but over time have evolved to include more abstract designs. Today, due to the global popularity of Sarough carpets, some countries (India, China, and Turkey) have been known to illegally copy their unique and traditional patterns and sell them under the name of Sarough. However, experts in this field can easily identify the original patterns of this region, which include bird and fish designs, Mustafi, curtain-like, and flower and bud patterns, among others.
The Kashan handwoven rug can be considered one of the finest examples of hand-woven carpets in Iran and the world. As Kashan is recognized as the world’s largest center for machine-made rug exports, with 70% of Iran’s machine-made rug exports, it’s possible that many of us are unfamiliar with the handwoven rugs of the region, even though the foundation and essence of rug-weaving in this area originated from this type of rug.
The features, specifications, and prices of the Kashan handwoven rug are different from those of other rug-weaving centers in Iran, and if you intend to purchase one, it is essential to become familiar with them first. In this article, we aim to thoroughly examine and analyze these aspects for you.
As we mentioned at the beginning, we all recognize the city of Kashan by its carpets, and perhaps it can be said that Kashan is the only city where everyone recalls its carpets when they hear its name. Studies show that over 1500 meters of hand-woven carpets are produced in Kashan annually, which have a very high beauty and quality, which has made the carpets of this region famous around the world. Since carpet weaving in the city of Kashan is rich in history, in the designs of the carpets of this region, you can clearly see the use of the history and architecture of the city of Kashan. Beautiful carpets with special designs, elegant, and noble, which are decorated by the artists of this region on the rugs.
Yarn and Raw Materials for Kashan Carpets
In Kashan carpet weaving, there are three main raw materials; wool, cotton, and silk which are mostly used in carpet making.
In carpet yarn or raw silk, wool is usually used which comes from goats. However, in silk carpets, which are less expensive due to their production cost, silk is used instead.
In flatweave or horizontal knot carpets, cotton is the most commonly used raw material in Kashan carpets. Using cotton provides high strength and durability to the carpet against wear and tear.
The pile carpet or vertical knot is mostly made of cotton material. Pile is made in two forms, “under pile” (thick pile) and “over pile” (thin pile).
The type of weave in Kashan carpets
The type of weave in Kashan carpets is a Persian knot weave and is usually two-ply. However, it should be noted that in the Jooshghan region of Kashan, which is an important part of Kashan’s carpet weaving, the weaving is done in three-ply. The knot count, which is the most important factor in indicating the quality of the carpet, varies in the Kashan region from 25 to 70 knots per square inch. This varies depending on the raw materials used, but typically in Kashan, cashmere carpets have knot counts of 27 to 40, Karaki carpets have knot counts of 30 to 45, and wool carpets have knot counts of 55 to 70 or higher.
The dimensions of Kashan carpets and rugs
The first consideration when it comes to the physical characteristics of Kashan carpets and rugs is their size. It’s interesting to note that in this region, the first element of beauty is the size of the carpet and rug, and the way it’s measured is by counting the knots in it. The number of knots is calculated by multiplying the number of knots per square meter by 20, and the most commonly used dimensions are 64 and 72 knots, which correspond to 12 and 9 meters, respectively. Today, the most widely produced sizes for Kashan carpets are 3 x 2 meters and 5/3 x 5/2 meters, followed by 4 x 3 meters, carpet runners, widths, and halves.
Colors of Kashan rugs
One interesting note about Kashan is that it’s renowned for producing richly colored rugs. The art of dyeing carpets and rugs in this region dates back more than 7,000 years.
So, what kind of colors can you expect from a city with such a rich history of dyeing rugs? Unique and special colors are one of the ways to identify rugs from this region from those produced elsewhere in Iran. The colors that were commonly used in the traditional Kashan rugs of the past include the lac, sky blue, green, cream, facial, red, blue sapphire, and more.
Kashan Carpet Designs Kashan Carpets
The designs used in Kashan carpets are very diverse; below is a list of them in brief:
Mihrab design: As its name suggests, this design is based on the mosque Mihrab and is mainly used for carpeting prayer rugs.
Afshan design: Afshan is a special and popular design that is without a border and medallion, and is composed of flowers, large and small buds, curvy lines, and surrounded by a fringe.
Gol-Dani or tree design: This design can be introduced as one of the oldest and most authentic designs of the Kashan carpet. It has various types and features, including no repetition and depicting a flower garden or tree throughout the carpet.
Lachak, Trang, and Mihrab design: This design is probably taken from the leather covers of old books and some mosque and school calligraphy, and has been a popular design in Iranian carpet design since at least the Safavid period.
Shikargah design: This design also has a high history and mostly refers to the hunting grounds of the Safavid period. The background or ground of this design includes a view of the hunting grounds, with birds and animals, etc. depicted in the design.
Joshaghan, whose original name was Kushkan, is located 100 kilometers northwest of Isfahan and 130 kilometers south of Kashan. The city is located in the Vorgān mountain range, which is an area with a pleasant climate and is also known as the Joshaghan carpet.
Some features of Joshaghan rugs
Design and pattern: The pattern of Joshaghan’s carpet is relatively beautiful and different from the fabrics of other weaving centers, which is why carpet lovers recognize it with one look. Despite the close connection between weaving centers, the design and pattern of these carpets have changed less. Features of Joshaghan’s carpet include peony designs, flowers, various shapes and geometries, bright lattice borders, crazy hands, and flower motifs in peony and square shapes. The design and pattern of Jushkan are also woven in carpets from Tabriz, Heris, Hamadan, Arak, and other places. The general motifs are mostly made of lattice and flower patterns and include local special motifs such as shah Abbasi designs.
Color: The color in the patterns and motifs of Joshaghan’s carpet is different because the pattern of these carpets is detailed and dense. The colors of these carpets were somewhat botanical and made from color dyes such as yellow leaves and pomegranate.
Fabric and design: The pattern is relatively tall, with a Persian knot, double knot, and elegant fabric design, which are characteristics of Mashhad cloth patterns. Most of the Mashhad cloth patterns are made in sizes of 1.5 meters, 2 meters, and also 12-meter cloth patterns. The workmanship of the fabrics from this region is notable for their solid, durable, and authentic design.
Raw materials: The cotton is imported from central cities such as Isfahan, and the silk is either locally sourced from local goats or imported.
Mashhad and important carpet weaving centers. This city has been a center of carpet weaving since the Safavid era, i.e., the 10th century. Mimeh, Naserabad, and Abouzeidabad are also recognized in carpet weaving from this center. The design and pattern of Mimeh cloth are more elegant than the workmanship of other mentioned areas, and these fabrics are in the size of cloth patterns and have short piles.
About 50 miles southeast of Tabriz by road and 40 miles as the crow flies lies one of the most intriguing and unspoiled weaving areas of Persia, referred to as the Heriz area, but it could also be named the Geravan, Mehriban or Bakshaish area. The names of these and other villages are commonly used in the Tabriz bazaar for their famous carpets, some of which are also well-known in the West. Heriz is the largest and most significant of the thirty villages in the district and it is here that the finest carpets are woven, solidifying its reputation as a leader in the area.
The Heriz district, which is approximately 35 x 35 miles in size, is located to the west and south of the massive Savalan massif and has a predominantly Turkish population, who are renowned for their weaving skills and use of the Turkish knot. Although the area is not particularly rich in agriculture, with no significant wheat exports, the thriving carpet-weaving industry has brought considerable wealth to some of its villages. The Heriz area is known for producing those remarkable and durable carpets, which are full of character, yet reasonably priced, and have been familiar to the world for over half a century as Georavans or Heriz.
The art of carpet weaving in the Heriz area has a long history, dating back to the early 19th century, and possibly even earlier, although there is no concrete evidence to support this. Bakshaish, the village with the longest history of weaving, still occasionally produces old kellegis, usually in the Herati design and woven in shades of blue, buff, and mauve. If the buffs are carefully examined, they are likely to have originally been dyed red but have oxidized over time. The limited number of old pieces from the Heriz area clearly indicates that the current extensive weaving industry, with its annual output of around 10,000 carpets and an equal number of rugs and strips, is a relatively modern development, having only existed for a little over half a century.
The Heriz area can be divided into three parts: the Karaja district in the northwest, the Heriz area proper, and the Saräb district. The Karaja District is home to a group of about half a dozen villages, with the attractive and prosperous village of Karaja being the most well-known. Karaja is located on the Tabriz-Ahar road, about 35 miles from Tabriz, and has a weaving history that dates back over a century. The village is famous for its unique and unmistakable type of rug and strip, which is single-wefted, tightly woven, and well-finished. All the villages in this group weave the same design, usually with madder red grounds and dark blue borders, and two of the three medallions are typically cream or green, with the central one being dark blue. The annual output of the Karaja area is estimated to be around 80 pieces, mostly rugs, and strips.
The Heriz Area Proper is located 5 miles beyond Karaja on the Tabriz-Ahār road and is accessible from the main highway by a track that leads through the villages of Bilverdi, Kildit, Mina, Paräm, Turkish, and Burazi to Heriz itself. The first village in the Heriz area proper is Bilverdi, which weaves carpets that are not particularly high quality but is noteworthy for being the only village in the area to use the regular Heriz medallion design in a single-wefted fabric, while all other villages make double-wefted carpets.
The two main types of knots used in carpet weaving are symmetrical and asymmetrical knots, also known as Persian and Turkish knots.
The symmetrical knot, also known as the Turkish knot or Ghiordes knot, originates from Turkey where it was first used. It can also be referred to as the Turkbaff knot. In this knot, the yarn (shown in red in the illustration) is looped around both warps (light yellow) and a weft (blue) is placed between every row of knots. This knot provides a stronger consistency in the carpet and is often used for thicker carpets. It is commonly used in Turkey, the Caucasus region, and western Iran, as well as by Turkish and Kurdish tribes and in some European carpets.
The asymmetrical knot, also known as the Persian knot or Senneh knot, is sometimes referred to as the Farsibaff knot. This knot involves looping the yarn (shown in red) around one warp thread (light yellow) and leaving it loose under the other warp thread. A weft (blue) is placed between every row of knots. The asymmetrical knot allows for a higher knot density and more detailed designs in carpets. It is commonly used in Persian workshops in Iran, as well as in India, Turkey, Egypt, and China.
Are you wondering how should you choose a good quality rug? Choosing a good-quality rug can be a challenge for most of us, as long as they play an important role in our home decoration and even our health, especially when it comes to choosing a hand-knotted, it requires a little bit of knowledge. I am going to tell you easy and quick secrets to help you choose a good quality hand-knotted rug.
Most of the time hand-knotted rugs have woollen piles, good quality wool is always soft, especially if you are buying a high pile rug like Heriz rugs. Wools from different races and even different times of picking have different qualities (softness and durability). The best time for picking wools is springtime.
Some hand-knotted rugs also have silk piles too. They are more expensive as silk is a more expensive material than wool. Silk also is a bit rougher than wool. You should know good quality silk always shines beautifully.
- Check the warp by Pulling fringe
The pile is always knotted on the wraps so they are the foundation of the rug and have to be healthy and strong. You can check the wraps by pulling the fringe yarns with medium pressure. If it is torn, it’s a bad sign.
- Pay attention to the rug fringe
Don’t forget to check if the Rug fringe is the original one or not. Sometimes they attach a new one later and so If you saw a sign of attachment, they must have been added later and this is not a good sign.
Some rugs have kilim weaving in the beginning and finishing part of the rug, which strengthens the knots and keeps the fringe healthy for a longer time and these rugs will last for generations.
You can check every hand-knotted rug with these simple three techniques.
I will post more functional and easy tricks about rugs. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be informed about sales and new articles.