The provinces of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari are two different zones joined together. A district of this province named Bakhtiari is situated between the Zagros Mountains stretching as far as Khuzestan. On the eastern part of the dividing line from Zagros towards Esfahan is Chahar Mahal.
The district of Bakhtiari and Chahar Mahal is the main center and the summer quarters of the big Bakhtiari tribe. The route of their migration is around Shahre-e-kord, which extends to the border of Masjed-Soleyman and Izeh (in Khuzestan). Carpet weaving in this area was first introduced not more than one hundred and eighty years ago. It is important to note that the carpets known as Bakhtiari are not produced by the Bakhtiari tribesman. Rather, the Bakhtiari rugs are woven by craftsman in the cities, villages, Armenians, and nomads who have settled in the Chahar Mahal area.
The quality and the weaving technique of Bakhtiari rugs vary from location to location. The knots in Ghiordes and the weft can be single or double, depending on the place where it’s produced. These rugs are relatively coarse and durable. However, one can also find decorative and beautiful carpets with interesting and pleasant designs made of natural and brilliant colors (either woven for Baktiari tribal chiefs or those which are produced under the patronage of the Iranian carpet company). The dyers often prefer to use natural colors to dye the fibers of the carpet. Their preference for the background colors is mostly red, blue, green, golden yellow, turquoise, dark blue, and brown.
Small rugs such as Zar-o-nim and Do-zar up to 12 square meters are also produced within this province. Amongst a large variety of Bakhtiari designs, the one in particular that dominates is the mosaic design (or repeated panels). In this type of rug, the field appears with a regular quadrangular and hexagon network. Each of these panels contains different motifs and is woven separately. Examples include the weeping willow tree, cypress tree, vases full of flowers, or birds on a branch. In these panels, there are no similarities or overlapping designs, each panel could be a different design as well as color.
Today, in locations such as Ghom, Birjand, and Tabriz, finer carpets are produced which imitate the design of the Bakhtiari rugs. Important centers for carpet weaving in Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari are shahre-e-kord (the main center of the province) and the surrounding villages. Chal-shotor, Saman, Shalamzar, the town of Borujen, and the depending villages are other locations where these are produced. In these locations rugs with Esfahan motifs are also produced.
The Owlad tribe weaves medium low-priced carpets in mosaic designs while the Yalmeh (another nomadic tribe of the Lors) produce medium “fine” rugs. There is a great difference and a complete contrast in the geometric designs with Bakhtiari patters woven in Yalmeh. Their style is similar to that of the Ghashgha’i rugs. Yalmeh rugs are generally traded in the Esfahan and Shahreza markets. Occasionally they are classified as Shiraz rugs.