Although during the Zandieh dynasty (1750-1779) the art of carpet weaving was not equal to that of the Safavid dynasty, the art continued to progress. Some rugs, which have remained from the era of Karim-Khan Zand in Shiraz, are proof of the importance of this art during that period. However, it should be remembered that Shiraz production has never had a top rank among the other fine and exquisite ones produced in Iran. In fact, there are very few carpet workshops in Shiraz and this city is only the center of marketing the rugs woven by the tribesman and those made in the villages.
The rugs produced in some of the villages surrounding Shiraz are woven in horizontal looms. They are of low quality, and are not to be compared with those made by tribesman who settled in this area. The dyes are natural and the predominant colors of red, brown, yellow, and blue. Shiraz carpets have a large design catalog that includes a variety of floral repeat patterns as well as medallion compositions. A famous design, which is attributed by some to weavers of the Ghashgha’i and by others to the old and skilful artists of Shiraz, is cypress and lily of the Valley design.
Many experts recognize that as “Millefleurs” design. The field of this rug is designed as a Mehrab (altar). From the pillars of this Mehrab two half-length cypress trees are included in the inner part of the border (the cypress tree being the symbol of Shiraz). At the tip of these trees or in the other words at the top of the pillars there is a turreted bow. From a big vase placed in the lower part of the rug covering the whole field some flowers emerge together with lily of the valley twigs and the narcissus (there are plenty of these in the fields of the Shiraz area). Another turret or bow, which is situated under the vase, connects the pillars to each other.
Depending on the locality of its production, the border of the rug is decorated with Harati motifs or repeated designs of birds facing each other on both sides of the Harati flowers. Most Shiraz carpets are coarsely knotted and may be either in the Senneh or Ghiordes knot. Warps and wefts are mainly of sheep’s wool.