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Persian rugs have long attracted the attention of art lovers and artists around the world. but what makes these rugs so valuable? why they've always been the best? in this blog post you'll be familiar with the value of Persian rugs.
Weaving technique is very important in Persian Rugs because the durability of a carpet depends on the way it’s woven. Whether the rug is flat-woven or piled, each carpet has two basic components. The warps which run from end to end of the rug, and the wefts which are passed from side to side alternately over and under the warps that make foundation of rugs. Weavers tie the yarns around the warps of the foundation using one of the several different knots.
The knot density is the number of knots per square inch. It is obtained by counting the knots on the backside of the carpet. The quality and very often the cost of a hand-knotted rug is determined by the knot density. This Number is important because the large number of knots make it possible to draw circular design. Curved lines in a rug’s design can be drawn more smoothly and gracefully in a Persian rug with many knots per square inch. It makes Persian rugs so unique and admirable.
The two basic types of knots that are found in Persian rugs are the symmetrical and the asymmetrical. And both of them are used in the Middle East.
The asymmetrical knot that is known as Senneh knot or Persian knot, and you can see in picture(1) is wrapped around one warp only, then the yarn is passed behind the adjacent warp so that the two ends are divided by a single warp. With this method we can weave a carpet with higher knot density and more details.
In the symmetrical knot that is known as Ghiordes or Turkish knot, and you can see in picture(2) the yarn is passed between two adjacent warps, then pulled through the center as you can see in the picture. Ghiordes knot is stronger than the others.
If knots of either type are tied over more than two warps, the knot density will decrease and it leads to less detailed designs. So we will have a carpet with lower quality.
Design and Motifs
Maybe you don’t know that a story lies behind each motif of Persian rugs. When you learn the meaning of a rug pattern, you’ll be able to read it and better understand the world of weavers. Oriental rugs are woven by Persian symbolic designs that each one represents a belief. Some of these symbols are derived from nature. Weavers was inspired their surrounding environment. That’s why the motif of a rug can be used to determine the place of origin.
Generally, each Persian carpet in terms of design, can be placed into three broadest categories. Geometric designs; floral designs; and pictorial. It should be considered that sometimes one carpet can incorporate more than one design.
The most common motif for Persian rugs is floral motif with a large central medallion. This layout is derived from religious beliefs. Medallion motif that is one of the most repeated pattern across all types of Persian rugs, is driven from patterns of gardens and their streams.
Tribal rugs or other carpets hand-knitted in Persia’s village tend to be more geometric than floral in design. By using geometric patterns and broken lines, design became simple yet gorgeous shapes are created. All over rhombic pattern, diamond-like medallion covered in serrated leaves and traditional 'tree of life' motifs makes these rugs a highly decorative piece.
These types of Persian rugs are inspired by Persian architectural motifs or old legendary stories. Rugs with nested circular lines, animal shapes and face image are placed in this group. Persia’s Weavers represent their rich culture and history in this rug.
Age and durability
Unique patterns and brilliant colors of Persian rugs are not the only things make them different. Persian rugs especially those are over 30-40 years old are well-known because of their durability. Unlike other furniture, authentic Persian rugs become more valuable with use. The more you use them, the more valuable they will become. Because they are produced with pure lamb wool and dyed with natural colors, they have a real potential to appreciate over years and are considered as a good investment. The quality of these carpets varies depending on the region they are made. However, authentic Persian rugs, regardless where it is woven, are very durable. All type rugs and carpets hand woven in Persia have some special features that make them unparalleled.
They are performed by real natural wool from live animal. So by using these rugs, oils produced from these animals is released over time and it gives shine and freshness to the carpet and lengthen the life of rugs. While the rugs are made by dead wool will became dull and rough over time.
Special vegetable dyes is another features of Persia’s rugs. Each region of Persia has its own vegetation for this reason the colors used in each area are different from the others and have unique beauty. Carpets of each region can be distinguished by their special colors. Natural colors not only give glorious appearance to rugs, they also cause them not to lose their brilliance and clarity even after being washed several times.
Histological weaving techniques used in all type of Persian carpets and rugs is another characteristic that influence durability of these rugs. Because of these features they can easily survive over 70 years with little wear if they are cared properly.
The Quality of Material
Another factor that makes Persian rug be known as the best rug in the world is the quality of materials used in weaving. The high quality of wool causes the rug has high durability and its brilliance and beauty preserve after years of use.
Although an exact definition of fiber quality can’t be found there are the various characteristics that can affect wool in sheep directly or indirectly. Professor Holman explain in his article,"A Review of Sheep Wool Quality Traits", wool quality is evaluated through routine assessment of characteristics that include mean fiber diameter, coefficient of variation, staple characteristics, comfort factor, spinning fineness, fiber curvature and clean fleece yield. The association between these characteristics with wool quality stems from their correlation with raw wool processing performance in terms of speed, durability, ultimate use as apparel or carpet wool, and consumer satisfaction with the end-product. An evaluation of these characteristics allows wool quality to be objectively quantified prior to purchase and processing.
What made nomads of Persia turn to weaving rug was good condition of livestock. almost 70% of produced wool in Persia are used in weaving rug.