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The Persian carpet

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Persian carpetPersia is a country that has a several thousand year history. From fairy tales we remember the caravans of camels, almighty padishahs and beautiful princesses, the unforgettable beauty of gardens of Persian sultans and, of course, the surprisingly bright and almost lively Persian carpets. The name «Persian carpet» is used nowadays to refer to the carpets made in present Iran whose territory used to be a part of ancient Persia. Today Iran manufactures a big quantity of carpets than all the other carpet-weaving centers do together. The overwhelming majority of carpets produced here are handmade.

Qom, Nain, Tabriz, Esfahan, Gabe- each of these Iranian cities have their carpet weaving secrets, their special and unique carpets. An artisan needs to look at carpets only once to be able to determine the exact place where it was manufactured. The pattern is a different topic. Orient carpets communicate in their special language. Their language is small knots and colors. Their images are never casual: the ancient tradition of the Islamic culture and art, and the talent and design of the artisan determined the selection and placement of certain elements of the pattern. A certain meaning is encrypted in each ornament. In the angular diamond flowers and leaves with jagged edges, in thin jewellery ornate lettering, and in mosaic pattern, lines can be read from the Holy Scriptures, proverbs, legends and the wishes of the future owners. The artisan never repeats the pattern twice, though the common elements of the pattern remained, and with them, it is possible to determine in what area was the carpet manufactured.

Today, the carpets have found reflection not only antique motives, but also Baroque, Empire, Rococo, classicism, modernism, and even sometimes post-modernism. While choosing a carpet, pay attention to the following:

- Thickness. Bend the carpet - if you see the base, then the carpet is not the best quality;

- Accuracy. The artisan could deliberately allow gaps, which will show the specialist that the carpet is hand-woven;

- Color - only pure shades. The Persian carpets always deferred by their exquisite colors;

- Material (mostly wool), its quality, origin, level of processing - composition. These Persian carpets are always very informative, they carry encrypted stories. The smaller the row of small knots of one color, the more valuable the carpet is;

- Decoration - brushes, edge processing.

It is believed that for the Iranian artisans, all these factors are traditionally higher quality.

Similarly, the place where the carpets are manufactured is very important. Tabriz carpet has a cream, red or blue color. Topics on these carpets are often cast by the creations of great poets of the East, they can bear the images of falconry or a terrible lion. Carpets made in Tabriz, can be easily identified by ornament - medallions at the center and in the corners. Mud is a small eastern village of the country. Quite often, carpets made in this province have a thin, carved ornament with a floral medallion at the middle. Often, you can also have historical motives as a pattern. Most carpets are produced in medium size. Colour palette: saturated red, dark blue, brown, sometimes green. The colour palette in conjunction with the noble shades of ivory, create a wonderful contrast and a clear picture. Such combinations particularly look better in soft, smooth wool, which is typical of carpets made in Mud.

Isfahan's carpets have bright blue or red background, and the prices depend on the complexity of the individual details of the pattern - the smaller, the more expensive. The wool of the carpets made in Isfahan's is cut to a few millimeters. Therefore loops of the drawing are very clear. The pattern of Isfahan's carpet consists of a complex fanciful medallion at the center and a thick floral drawing of the main field and border. There are numerous, very complicated and precisely made ornaments, a realistic portrayal of birds and flowers.

Carpets made in Qom are well known for their unusual combination of colors: they can be ivory, beige-brown and light green colors with a turquoise shade. The pile is silky and low. The best carpets made in Qom are the silk ones. And silk was used in making the base, the edge, and the pile. They are thin like a scarf, and they are very flexible carpets. In Qom there are no ornaments that are considered traditional for this city: the local designers and artisans are not used to limiting themselves in something. In doing so, carpets from Qom are often «signed» by the artisan. In the image there are the breakdown of a surface into squares with a floral ornament inside.

Nain is a very bright field and a lot of blue or light green colors, almost lettuce green colors. The drawing consists of interwoven small flowers and twigs. This is a sample of a classical Persian design.

Gabe - rural kilims. They typical have two-sided drawings and lower price (about twice lower than the average «Persian»). These are big carpets weaved from uneven colored wool, with a very large simple drawing.

Finally, when buying a Persian carpet you should be very careful and not be lavish. Only a third of the carpets in the market are genuine.

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