Persian Rug Designs

The art of making Persian Rugs dates as far back in time as 500 B.C. originating in the area now called Iran. Over the years, the art has seen highs and lows, but the fact that 1.2 million Iranian weavers continue to weave carpets for domestic and international markets speaks for the craft’s timelessness. Persian area rug design stands out for its intricacy and timeless beauty.

Persian rug designs

Persian rug designs may be rectilinear or curvilinear, the latter being the more complex of the two. Traditional rug weavers commit the designs to memory. In more recent techniques, intricate designs are developed on graph paper and drawn to scale using actual colors. Since each square of the graph corresponds to a weaver’s knot, the outcome is exactly like the design. Computerized designs have now replaced the manually drawn ones on graph.

Classic Persian rug designs include motifs or patterns that are laid out within a border or a number of borders. The motif is placed within the confines of the border – either all-over or in the middle or to one side. Adaptations include the repeat medallion in which the central medallion pattern is repeated in a column or grid formation. Gabbeh rugs and Kelims are examples of unsymmetrical designs of Persian rugs.

The motifs are patterned on nature and take the name of the geographical area where the rug was originally woven. With time, the motifs became popular and one can now find a mix of the motifs in a single rug. But the ancient patterns remain as main patterns and the variations form the sub patterns.

Popular motifs used in Persian rugs

Boteh: The word derives from the Farsi word for an open flower bud or palm leaf. Flames, Teardrops, Pinecones, Pears, and Trees are adaptations. The famous paisley pattern also originates from the Boteh or Buta.

Gul: The word means a flower in Farsi. The motif is typical to the Turkman, Gorgan, and Khal Mohammadi rugs. It employs a geometric pattern to depict an octagonal flower that is used to cover the rug in its entirety.

Herati: This is a typical field design with a repetitive pattern of a diamond with a flower within it. The diamond is surrounded by curved leaves, one for each side of the diamond. This design is found in both rectilinear and curvilinear patterns.

Mina-Khani: A design derived from nature, it comprises a field of daisies connected by circular lines. Most suitable for an all-over pattern, Mina-Khani is used by the weavers of Varamin rugs.

Rosette: As the name suggests, this motif is in the shape of a rose. It has a central medallion with petal-like formations all around it. Used in the borders, as well as in the field of the rug, the Rosette area rug design is typical of the Nain rugs.

Shah Abbasi: This design representing a bunch of palmettes is most popularly used in Kashan, Isfahan, Mashad, and Nain rugs. It is used in medallions or all over the rug. This motif is common in Tabriz rugs.

Like the Persian language, the area rug design from the region is also rich in history and reflects the artistic skills of traditional weavers. Authentic Persian rugs are known for their antique value and can cost thousands of dollars.

Source by Robert Desjardins

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