Gabbeh Rugs are Part of a Rich Persian Tradition
The traditional Gabbeh Persian carpet – known as gava in Kurdish and Luri and called khersak in Bakhtiari – is a simple, hand-woven pile rug traditionally made by the nomadic Qashqai tribes who dwelled in the Zagros Mountains of southern Iran, near the city of Shiraz. Other tribes, such as the Lurs, the Kurds and the Bahktiari also weave these carpets.
In Persian, the word “Gabbeh” means “fringe” or “in the rough.” Gabbeh rugs are rough cut and long piled rugs of rich color and the best quality wool. Most Gabbeh carpets are medium size – up to 3’ x 5’ – and feature abstract designs where shapes and color dance playfully with one another.
Variations of the gabbeh rug – such as the “Loribaft”, “Amaleh”, “Kashkuli” – may reflect the heritage of the tribe by which they are woven or the name of the city in which they are most often traded, such as “a Shiraz Gabbeh.”
The 19th century gabbeh rugs were very coarsely knotted (40kpi or less), often with shaggy pile. The name of Gholam Reza Zollanvari is synonymous with modern Gabbeh rugs. Zollanvari learned the rug business from his grandfather, a merchant in the Shirazi rug bazaar. Zollanvari pioneered the construction of fine-weave gabbehs with knot counts of 200+ kpi. Today, Zollanvari rugs are among the most popular styles of Persian rugs.
The Making of a Gabbeh Rugs: A Craft Shared Across Generations
Most Gabbeh carpets are made by women, and many are one-of-a-kind works of art. Some patterns are passed down thru the generations as mothers and grandmothers teach their daughters the art of Persian rug making. Many patterns reflect the weaver’s observations of the environments through which the tribe has passed. Some rugs are even made by the hands of many weavers.
Traditional Gabbeh rugs were woven on makeshift ground looms. These looms are built with materials are carried long distances by the nomadic tribes, or materials found where the tribe settled. Since each loom is unique, each rug is unique; this is how Gabbeh rugs get their distinctive irregular in shape.
Woven with the Wool of Mountain Sheep
Gabbeh rugs are woven from high quality wool from the tribe’s own sheep. As the tribe herds its sheep over hundreds of miles, the nomads reach high altitudes. In the summers, they stay in the highland pastures north of Shiraz in the Zargos Mountains; by winter they sojourn to pasture lands near the Persian Gulf. Sheep grazed in high altitudes produce more lanolin, giving their wool a luxurious softness and resistance to stain.
Rich, Colorful Dyes Give Gabbeh Carpets a Remarkable Color
The Qashqai people find the dyes used in Gabbeh carpets or purchase them in towns where they trade their finished carpets. Often, they use all-natural vegetable dyes to give the wool vibrant color while retaining its lanolin.
Hand-Knotted Rugs with Turkish Symmetrical Knots and Persian Asymmetrical Knots
Most of the wool used in the construction of Gabbeh rugs is handspun using a drop spindle. After the wool has been dyed and handspun, the weaver uses the loom to hand-knot the rug using Turkish symmetrical knots or Persian asymmetrical knots, or even a combination of the two. Because the all the Qashqai tribes use both types of knots, it is difficult to tell from which individual tribe any one rug has come from.
Gabbeh Rugs Are Small – Often Just 3’ x 5’ in Size
A typical size for a Gabbeh carpet is 3 feet by 5 feet. It can take 18 to 25 hours to weave even a small Gabbeh rug. Tribal Gabbeh rugs usually have lower knot counts compared to other types of Persian carpet. This low knot count and the high quality of wool makes Gabbeh rugs famous for their exceptional durability.
Durable Floor Coverings, Wraps and Bedding to Protect from the Mountain Cold
Gabbeh rugs are often floppy because they have wider rows of multiple wefts. This made the soft, pliable rugs ideal as wraps or bedding to insulate against the bitter cold of the mountains.
Gabbeh rugs are often not symmetrical due to the nomadic lifestyle of their creators, and color variations within a rug are common. Often, the variation in color in a rug tells a story of the tribe’s migration, the climates and environments it encountered, and the tribe members who contributed to its creation.
Where to Buy Gabbeh Rugs
Unless you plan to travel to Iran to shop for Gabbeh rugs in the marketplace, we’d suggest buying a Gabbeh rug online from RugSource.com or visiting our showroom. We’re proud to bring these highly coveted rugs to you – please contact us if you’d like to know more.
Handmade rugs come in all different shapes, sizes, designs and color palettes, but there’s also a distinct quality coincided with handmade rugs that simply sets them apart from the rest of the rug industry. Although many machine-made rugs will closely resemble a handmade rug superficially, it’s undeniable that the overall production process of handmade rugs is extremely complex and typically attaches a higher price tag.
All of us at Rug Source are huge fans of all types of handmade rugs, and our vast online inventory contains pieces of art from all across the globe. There’s no doubt about it that this is a very special portion of our website, and we’re excited to help you throughout the process of finding the perfect handmade rug for your home or workspace.
Throughout this page we’ll go over the historical significance and beauty of handmade rugs and our general guide to finding the perfect match for your existing room aesthetics and personal taste. We fully understand how important these types of investments are to our clientele, but we must admit that you’re in the right place to purchase an area rug that can exponentially accrue in value over long periods of time.
Besides our quality and affordability, what sets Rug Source apart from the rest of the industry is our unbeatable determination within customer service. Our team of experts is always here to support you throughout every step of the rug shopping experience, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about any particular item within our inventory.
Always feel free to contact us online so we can get you in touch with one of our experts as quickly as possible!
The Historical Significance Behind The Beauty Of Handmade Rugs
Handmade rugs have been around for thousands of years, and still in today’s rug industry they are by far the gold standard. There truly is no better method to create an absolutely exquisite, woven rug design than by utilizing the simplest tools and the mastery of trained weavers and artisans. What’s truly so remarkable about today’s handmade rug industry is that the weaving technique traditions have been handed down from generation to generation and are continuing to thrive.
There are countless variations within the handmade rug world, and every technique offers unique warp and weft interpretations and distinctive design repertoires. There’s no denying how the cultural significance of handmade rugs beyond any doubt sets these rugs apart from the rest of the industry, which is why they’re such special investments for homeowners!
Handmade rugs are still revered today for their intricate storytelling patterns, their durability, and their unbeatable material textures. It’s a beautiful tradition that speaks volumes into the very heart of humanity’s story, and it’s incredible how handmade rugs have not even come close to being surpassed by machines and technology in terms of prestige and elegance.
5 Important Considerations When Searching For A Handmade Rug
Handmade rugs vary dramatically in terms of materials, craftsmanship and aesthetics. It’s important for rug shoppers to have a basic understanding as to what they should be looking for while finding the handmade rug of their dreams, and this is because these are sometimes big investments that shoppers should take seriously.
The following are 5 important considerations you should keep in mind while looking through our collection of high-quality, handmade rugs:
All machine-made rugs lack the overall rarity and quality that coincides with handmade rugs, and the overall difference is the uniqueness of handmade rugs.
Machine-made rugs are mass-produced, which makes all of them generally similar in terms of material feel and appearance. Handmade rugs are completely unique, and they’re typically made while an artist utilizes a drawing to complete the rug. Although there may be certain similarities within each weaver’s style, each handmade rug will undoubtedly exhibit an unbridled uniqueness that simply can’t ever be matched.
Dyes and Materials
Wool and silk are typically the main materials utilized within handmade rugs. There are many rug manufacturers that will use substandard offsets of these materials, but truly handmade rugs will always be made from the real deal. One way to notice the knockoff materials is that they won’t have their natural suppleness and glossiness!
Colorfastness tends to be the way to be able to determine whether or not a rug’s dyes are from the finest quality associated with authentic handmade rugs. One thing you can do is ask a rug dealer like us to test the rug’s dyes, which we’ll be more than happy to do by running a damp cloth over the fibers.
This test is to see if any color attaches itself to the cloth, which is a clear indication that the dyes are cheap or simply not authentically integrated into the rug.
Knots-per-inch (KPI) will help in terms of determining the overall value of a handmade rug. The coloring and overall aesthetics of a rug are always important, but the higher the KPI the more clarity and resolution there will be within these colors and designs. In the world of handmade, Oriental rugs it’s always clarity that speaks loudest.
Our handmade rugs range all the way up to 1,000 KPI, which is about as high as this type of knot count can possibly go!
Your Best Size
It’s always important to know exactly where you want to place your handmade rug within your home or office prior to making any purchasing decisions, because this will help you to more efficiently narrow down your options.
Your Rug Dealer
The last and certainly not least consideration on this list is who you get your handmade rug from. Of course you’ve clearly done your homework by finding yourself on the Rug Source website, and we’re proud to be an authority figure within the handmade and Oriental rug industry.
We are specialists on all of our handmade rugs and will be able to provide ample information pertaining to each item’s country of origin, KPI, age, artist background, and much, much more!
Contact Our Team Of Experts Today For More Information!
All of us at Rug Source take pride in our work and online inventory, and we’re very excited to help you find the perfect handmade rug that matches your existing aesthetics and personality.
There’s truly a lot that goes into this type of rug purchase, so we know you’re likely to have questions. Always feel free to contact us online or call us today at 980-422-4080 or 704-763-0979 for more information so one of our experts can keep you and your rug search on the right track!