Oriental Rugs

Geometric Rug Design in Shiraz

Around Shiraz city, there was a strong dynasty called Achaemenid Empire whose gorgeous and precious monuments are still considerable in Persepolis ruins. 

Throughout history, Shiraz was famous for it’s beautiful gardens. The city is well-known as “the city of rose” as well. In 13th and 14th a. d. two famous poets lived in this city, namely “Hafez” and “Saadi” who were originally from Shiraz and buried there as well. Shiraz is also popular for its beautiful and often geometric rug designs. The “Vakil” bazaar which is the biggest bazaar in Iran, is considered to be in the heart of Shiraz. In this bazaar, the weaved crafts belonging to “Fars” people exist among some other items. 

There are a lot of weavers in Shiraz and  rural areas around the city, who are mostly nomads and often weave rugs. Also the horizontal looms are frequently used in villages. 

The bright soft wool, originated from domestic animals in Fars province, is often used for warp and rug tissues. The design and the pattern used in Shiraz rug tissues,  represent the traditions and tribal habits, meaning that each rug has different pattern according to the tribe in which the rug is weaved. For more explanation, we should imply the Qashqai, Khamse and Lor rugs. Around Shiraz, some Lor tribes live, such as “Mamasani”, “Kujilu” and “Holoku”. The rugs woven in these tribes, have simple designs and have no predetermined patterns, and often are weaved with inspiration. Often, diamond-like medallions in rows are observed, as some sections possess hook-like designs and this is the feature of Qashqai rugs. This geometric rug pattern has become increasingly popular for purchase online in recent years. In urban workshops, there are illustrated rugs associating ancient Persepolis ruins. These illustrated rugs are so much subtle and often fabricated for national markets. 

There are so many rugs having traditional medallion design with many curves and exact schemes. The precise section and composition of the color and also the effect of the colors displays the relationship among current traditional art in nomad tribes.  The color composition includes often bright red, pure white and some dark ones for the background, nowadays major amount of colors are fabricated of plant sources  and this was realized by recognition and recovery of the dyeing methods in the past. 

Often, the so much subtle and detailed Shiraz rugs are called “Mecca” rugs. This name associates the people departing for “Haj”, who asked weavers to fabricate them valuable rugs to dedicate such rugs to Mecca holy mosque. Instead, nowadays the “Shiraz Mecca” rug is a unique brand. Among important producers in Shiraz region and arounds, we can name “ARsanjan”, “Marvdasht” , “Kamin”, “Karbal” and “Sarvestan”. 

Qashqai tribes

In Qashqai culture, the nomad lifestyle is totally conventional and the tribal identity plays and important role, causing Qashqai people live still based on the nomadic lifestyle and wear traditional clothing. 

Raising sheep is the main financial source of these tribes; they possess some species of sheep which are resistant against difficult weather conditions and well adapted to the environment.

Qashqai tents are made of black wool and has several functions: in the winter they put it on a some tall stands which are drained by small rocks and firm on some walls. Likewise in summer, they open one side of the tent decorated by small colorful tags and tufts. The furniture is located right in the end of the tent, resembling a column surrounded by colorful rugs. In summer, you can see a loom located horizontally in the tent which is frequently current among nomads. Qashqai people have a long history of weaving; and women’s competence of weaving  was recorded in many resources in 10th century.  Qashqai women weaves a lot, which can be accounted for a home task and also a financial source, while they did another task in winter. Best types of wool was used in weaving the rugs, the wool was collected in spring and they used to add sometimes camel or goat hairs to the wools. In the priceless samples, the red-dyed silk is used as weft and cotton yarn was used rarely to harden the end-edges of the rugs. 

Generally wool warp is natural and in itself color and weft is used dual and in colored wool in red and sometimes blue. The most common knot is asymmetric that is created open by the left side on a warp that is extremely compressed and symmetric knot is used for complete texture rarely and sometimes is seen on edge of the rug. For tightening the border to become circular, a thick yarn in amount of 8-10 usual warps is used that is decorated by a bicolor string adorned with colorful ribbons. They used herbal colors since the middle of the nineteenth century. The desirable color of Qashqaei was used more, was the red obtained of Ronas that mostly was mixed up with pomegranate hull to achieve a darker color. The other weavers favorite color was yellow that was obtained of pomegranate hull and esparak ( Kavoshk in  Qashqaei) and also vernacular herbs. 

Qashqai rugs mostly were woven in small sizes and the very precious models were Kalgi.  Mostly traditional Iranian patterns like Herati or bush is used for decoration that is used as geometric or simple. 

Overall the main characteristic of Qashqaei rugs and “Qashqaei symbol” is a design that is achieved by combination of old patterns related to tribes with simplified designs of water pool and birds and ShahAbbasi flowers (Nakhli) used in urban rugs and most probably is transferred to immigrant nomads from workshops in Shiraz that were at the peak of flourishing on Zandiye era between years 1759 to 1794. As a result a bergamot in diamond shape with four curved sides has been woven in the center or repeat alternately and vertically and thousands of irregular geometric designs are woven on the background: like red flowers, pyramid, little memling flowers and simplified pictures. 

Another design that is specific for Qahqaei rug, is lion pattern that has a special concept in clan and is symbol of Iran monarchy that nomads were always loyal supporter of that for last centuries. 

In the end, it should be noted that Qashqaeis weave especial kind of rugs that in sanctuary part of them lots of tiny patterns in seen: little animals, colorful roses, serrated leafs, pyramid and diamonds with different sizes. The arch shape of the top of the this rug, existence of trees at the sides and used color chosen remember into the mind Indian Mogl rugs known as Mille-Fleurs  or thousand flowers. In Qahqaei  textures, other traditional patterns also is seen like Moharramat with vertical thin line, the tree of life named plane tree or French roses known as red flower. 

Qashqaeis are also considered as producer of different kinds of saddlebags and kilims with shiny colors and sizes. 

In the south of Iran nomads book, Qashqai tappet tribali persiani, by this writer, it has been explained about it in details.

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