Mashhad’s carpet market

Mashhad is best known for being one of the most important regions specializing in weaving carpets. The art of weaving carpets is regarded highly in the province which is considered as a center of carpet production and trade.



Afghan Rugs and Afghani Carpets

The ethnicity and authenticity of Afghan carpets are second to none. They are exotic and distinctive oriental rugs. They hold a special appeal for buyers looking for true and original ethnic expression.

Like Afghanistan itself, Afghan rugs represent a diverse range of artistic sensibilities and cultures. While some heavy showcase influences of Persia, some reflect the war history of Afghanistan. Afghan carpets are indeed a pinnacle of craftsmanship.

Afghan Rugs and Afghani Carpets

If you are looking for an original and authentic Afghani rug, then you must know a few characteristics of Afghan Rugs and Afghani Carpets. Here are a few things to take into consideration, that will help you make the right purchase decision.

Color of Afghan carpets

Almost all Afghan Rugs use natural dyes that come from plants. More than often, genuine and traditional Afghan Carpets come in earthy colors such as red, maroon, brown, and different shades of green, yellow and blue. They are usually vibrant and get along with almost all home décor schemes. They are quite a treat to the eye.

Material of Afghan carpets

An authentic Afghani carpet is handwoven with mountain wool. Some tribal carpets also use goat hair for overbinding the selvedges or sides. Some Afghani prayer rugs also use camel hair along with mountain wool. Afghan Rugs are heavy and durable. This is because they are tightly woven and have an extremely dense and solid construction. Unlike soft silk carpets, Afghan Carpets are heavy, hard, but quintessentially cozy.

Design of Afghan carpets

Some of the common Afghan carpet types include Baluch Rugs, Kilims,Mauri Rugs, Shindand or Adraskand Rugs, Turkmenistan Rugs, or Bukhara Carpets and KhalMohammadi Rugs. Baluch Rugs are usually small, and they feature vibrant colors. Kilims are flat woven rugs. A Kilim showcases a distinct pattern that comprises a small slit between colors. Unlike other Afghan Rugs, Mauri Rugs are one of the most high quality and luxurious Afghan Rugs.

Some of the various types of Turkmenistan carpets or Bukhara carpets include Basjir, Tekke, Salor, Yomut and Tjaudor carpets. Bukhara rugs showcase various designs like geometric patterns, octagonal motifs, floral medallions, and complex oval or diamond-shaped motif patterns. They are indeed one of the most sought after Afghan Carpets and are highly associated with royalty. KhalMohammadi Rugs are warm and welcoming. They usually display deep reds, with black or dark blues used to highlight its details.

Despite the type of Afghan rug that you are looking for, know that all Afghan Carpets have a nomadic, tribal, traditional, and bohemian look and feel. More than often, they exhibitbold motifs and intricate designs. They are handwoven, and a medium sized Afghan rug can take 7 to 9 months to complete.


Difference between Handmade and Machine Made Carpets

This article really helps to identify the difference between handmade carpet and machine made carpet. If you don’t have much knowledge about the rugs or carpets then it’s difficult to identify and distinguish between the two. So here we are telling you the major difference between handmade carpet and machine made carpet.

Handmade Carpet

Handmade carpet is woven on special type loom which is called handloom. This loom is operated by hand. For this technique, no electricity is required. Weavers set looms according to the size of carpet which they want to make. The making of a handmade rug is an ancient art. Handmade rugs are three main types.

1) Hand Knotted Carpets– Hand knotted is part of the handmade carpet category. In hand knotted technique the size of loom depends on the size of the carpet and the weaving is done from bottom to up.  First weavers insert the “knots” into the looms of the rug and tie by hand which is called “pile”. It takes many months to complete one rug according to size, color combinations and designs. It also depends on the pattern and intricacy involved. In hand knotted rugs the fringe is also a part of the rug foundation. However, a lot of times, people do not prefer these fringes or tassles and get them removed since its only a matter of preference.

Handknotted rug

2) Hand Tufted Carpets: These are also handmade carpets but the technique and process is entirely different. For weaving this rug modified drill guns are used to insert the piles into the cloth foundation. Clothes are in cotton material.  When it is inserted in the cloth it creates piles. If piles are shared then becomes a cut piles. This is a less expensive method to make a carpet as compared to a hand knotted carpet because of using drill gun and takes less time to weave it.

3) Flat Woven Durries-: This is another category of a handmade rug. Flat weave rug are made with no piles. There is virtually no height of the rug. This is made of cotton, wool, and jute materials. This is very high durable durries and perfect for high traffic areas as well.

Machine made carpet

These type of carpets are made in large machines which are called power loom. Power looms are controlled by computers and it has very fast production. These are very cheap as compared to handmade carpets. The durability of machine made carpet is maximum 15 years.  In machine made carpet fringes in sewn. In machine made the back part of carpets, its look very stright and perfectly even. If the piles of carpet made of nylon, polyester, olefin or any synthetic fiber then the carpet is 100% machine made.

machine made

Hence, to conclude, it would be wise to say that although for a layman a carpet is a carpet. But in reality, there is a huge difference between a machine made and hand knotted carpet in every aspect. Rugs and Beyond recommends buying a hand knotted carpet since it is much more durable and would last a lifetime.


$30 million worth of handwoven carpets exported in 4 months

An official in Iran Chamber of Cooperative put the exports of hand-woven carpets at $30 million in the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 – July 22).

 handwoven carpets exported

Abdollah Bahrami, Chairman of the Committee on Carpet, Handicrafts and Tourism of Iran Chamber of Cooperative added that $420 million worth of handmade carpets were exported last year.

Making the remarks on Sunday in a meeting on reducing the country’s dependence on oil exports, Bahrami stressed that the carpet industry enjoys a huge capacity in Iran and can replace the country’s oil exports.

He went on to say that some two million weavers are active in the country and the total annual capacity stands at 6 million square meters of handmade carpets which can bring around $3 billion for the country.

He said that the main export destinations of Iranian carpet are Germany, the UAE, South Africa, Japan, and China.


Traditional dyeing workshop in Hamedan

HAMEDAN, May 05 (MNA) – Pictures show piles of wool yarns being put into dye baths of different colors to prepare one of the basic materials for producing the renowned Persian handmade carpets.



Persian carpets need no introduction.  Originating from the crossroads of Europe and Asia, they date to a time before antiquity.  World renowned for exquisite artisanship, they have long inspired merchants from the East and West to crisscross the globe.

It is no wonder that Persian carpets are synonymous with the site of home and hearth.   Each carpet may travel thousands of miles and touch countless lives.  As they pass through generations and among nations, we imagine each carpet tells a tale.  The sight of tens of thousands of hand-tied knots joined in patterns of rare beauty has a unique capacity to inspire.  Might it be, as intuition so often suggests, that our lives and stories are interconnected?  Perhaps, as the great Persian poet Saadi expressed, we are woven of one essence.
Inspired by the poetic vision of Saadi, Why Knot? is a revolutionary three-dimensional Persian Carpet made to represent the globe.  Woven on a custom spherical loom, work on the Why Knot? globe commenced with the help of professional Iranian weavers in 2010, and it will be completed by ordinary people from around the world.  This one-of-a-kind project invites us to look at the world anew – to see how the earth is woven together through our actions.
At its best, art invites us to make the world a more beautiful place.  We invite you to weave your tale into the world.  You too can be part of this unique and exciting project, bringing people together through the ancient tradition of carpet weaving – Why Knot?

Why Knot?

Is a three dimensional Persian globe woven by people around the world? That’s right you too can be a part of this unique project bringing people together through the ancient tradition of carpet weaving.
At its best art invites us to make the world a more beautiful place. Inspired by the words of the celebrated Persian poet Saddi, Why Knot?


Tabriz Rugs

The most prolific of any carpet center is a very old city known as Tabriz, located in north-western Iran.

Their carpet quality is quite exceptional, as most of the carpets are on a base of very fine cotton but other times on pure silk.

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Tabriz Rugs

Many unique designs exist, but the typical pattern for a rug from Tabriz is filled with large palmettes, a dense floral motif, vivid scenes of hunting, vases, or field pictorials.

These can be found with medallions or without them, while geometric designs also exist. Tabriz has sub-styles, too, which include the elegant and restrained ‘Mahi’, done in co-ordinated borders of subdued tones which can fit anywhere; the Naqsheh, displaying an array of pinks on beige or, on rare occasions, black; and the wild yet gorgeous Tabatabaie, always done with touches of orange, beige, and lemon green.

The finer Mahi and Naqsheh are mostly of highly-priced Kurk wool, while silk is frequently used to lavishly outline the rug highlights.


Whats is Machine Made Carpets?

Machine made carpets are tufted, woven, knitted, flocked or needle-punched. Most commonly tufting is used for machine-made carpets. Tufted carpets are made on machines where the yarn is stitched through a pre-constructed backing to form a loop or a tuft. To hold the loops in place, the back side of the carpet is coated with latex.

Whats is Machine Made Carpets?

Tufting is the most inexpensive and fastest ways to manufacture a rug. Weavers can also control the tuft size making it possible to create carpets with varying patterns or surface textures.
There are three kinds of woven carpets: Velvet, Wilton and Axminster. Velvet is the least complicated of construction methods. Velvet carpets usually come in one solid coloured and a tweed effect may be noticed. Wilton carpets are more intricate. These are manufactured by using a Jacquard loom which can hold up to six different coloured of yarns. The Axminster method of weaving carpets produces the most elaborate designs with a wide variety of coloured.
• Knitted carpets are faster to make. In knitting, several sets of needles create loops and these are stitched together before the backing is applied. Knitted carpets come in solid or tweed and the pile may be of the same size or of varying heights.

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• Flocked carpets are similar to Velvet carpets in appearance. They have a dense cut pile of short fibres that are imbedded into an adhesive-coated backing.
• Needle-punching is similar to hand-hooking. Formerly used for indoor-outdoor carpets, this process is now being used for carpets that are only meant to be placed indoors as well. In needle-punching, fibres are locked into a packing by using hooked needles, which are further compressed.

The Manufacturing Process
The process of manufacturing tufted carpets can be explained in the following steps:

Step 1: Preparing the yarn

• First, the synthetic yarns arrive at the carpet manufacturer either in staple fibre form or in bulk continuous filament form
• The staple fibres, which are an average of 7 inches (18 cm) long are generally loose and are individual strands that arrive in bales. Several bales are blended together into one batch in a hopper.
• Then, these strands are lubricated and are spun into long, loose ropes called slivers by a carding machine. The slivers are then pulled, straightened, and spun into single yarn that is wound onto spools.
• Both the single-ply staple fibres (now spun into filament) and the bulk continuous filament is then twisted together to form thicker two-ply yarn suitable for tufting.
• The yarns are then steamed to bulk them, and then heated to 270-280°F (132-138°C). This heat setting causes the yarn to maintain its shape by fixing its twist. After cooling, these yarns are wound onto tubes and transported to the tufting machines.

Step 2: Dyeing the yarn

• Generally, most carpets are dyed after tufting yet sometimes the yarns are dyed first. The methods include putting 500-1,000 pounds (227-455 kg) of fibre into pressurized vats through which treated dyes are circulated, or passing the fibre continuously through the bath, or passing skeins of yarn through the vat of dye.
• The yarn can also be put on forms, and the heated dyes can then be forced under pressure from inside the forms to coloured the yarn.
• Another method passes the yarn through printing rollers, while yet another involves knitting the yarn onto a form that is then printed with dyes before the yarn is unraveled. All yarn that has been dyed is then steamed, washed, and dried.

Step3: Tufting the carpet

• At this stage, the yarn is put on a creel (a bar with skewers) behind the tufting machine and then fed into a nylon tube that leads to the tufting needle.
• The needle pierces the primary backing and pushes the yarn down into a loop. Photoelectric sensors control how deeply the needles plunge into the backing, so the height of the loops can be controlled.
• A looper, or flat hook, seizes and releases the loop of yarn while the needle pulls back up; the backing is shifted forward and the needle once more pierces the backing further on.
• Inorder to make a cut pile, a looper facing the opposite direction is fitted with a knife that acts like a pair of scissors, snipping the loop. This process is carried out by several hundred needles (up to 1,200 across the 12 foot [3.7 ml width), and several hundred rows of stitches are carried out per minute. Thus, one tufting machine can produce several hundred square yards of carpets per day.

Step 4: Dyeing the tufted carpet

• Solid coloured carpeting: For this carpet of several standard roll lengths is sewn together to make a continuous roll, which is then fed into a vat. The vat is filled with water, which is first heated before dyes and chemicals are mixed in. The mixture is then slowly brought to a boil and cooked for four hours approx.
• Another method of making solid coloured carpet is to sew several rows together to make one continuous roll, which is then fed under rods that bleed the coloured into the pile. After dyeing, the carpet is then steamed to fix the coloured, excess coloured is washed off, and the carpet is dried and put on a roll.
• Printed Carpets: Inorder to make printed carpet of various designs, white carpet passes under screens in which holes in the desired pattern have been cut. The desired coloured is squeezed through the holes in the screen, and the carpet is advanced 36 inches (91 cm) to a different screen that applies a new coloured in a different design through the screen. Up to eight coloureds can be applied with this method.
• Another method of dyeing printed carpet is to pass it under embossed cylinders that have raised portions in a design that press colour into the carpet. Each cylinder provides a different design for a different coloured. After dyeing, the printed carpet is steamed, excess dyes are washed off, and the carpet is then dried and put onto rolls to go to the finishing department.

Step 5: Finishing the carpet

• The ends of the dyed carpet are first sewn together to form a continuous belt. This belt is then rolled under a dispenser that spreads a coating of latex onto the bottom of the carpet.
At the same time, a strong secondary backing is also coated with latex. Both of these are then rolled onto a marriage roller, which forms them into a sandwich and seals them together. The carpet is then placed in an oven to cure the latex.
• The completed carpet is then steamed, brushed, vacuumed, and run through a machine that clips off any tufts that rise above its uniform surface. The carpet is then rolled into 120 foot (37 m) lengths that are then packaged in strong plastic and shipped to either the carpet manufacturer’s inventory warehouse or to a retail carpet store


A Rich History of Sarough Rugs

Sarough rugs, sometimes called Saruk or Sarouk rugs, are oriental rugs based on the exquisite, hand woven floor coverings that were first created in the 19th century by artisans living in Sarough, Farahan, Ghiassabad and other villages lying near the Iranian city of Arak in the central province of Markazi.

Where Do Sarough Rugs Come From?

The village of Sarough is located approximately 20 miles outside of Arak in the central Iranian province of Markazi, a city well-known for its carpet-making. These days, Sarough rugs do not necessarily come from Sarough, though. The term “Sarough” is reserved for all high-end Persian carpets from this region, carpets that are still woven by hand. The term “Arak carpet” is more commonly used for the machine-woven rugs that come from this area.

What Is the History of the Markazi Province?

Markazi is a region in Iran with a long history of human settlement. In the first century B.C., the province was the center of the great empire of the Medes, one of the four great powers of the ancient Near East.

The history of carpet-weaving in this region, however, only dates back to the 19th century when the demand for carpets for American markets spurred the creation of characteristic rugs that used the high quality wools and natural dyes found in the area. The delicate nature of the dyes were not quite bright enough for the American market, so often parts of the rugs were re-dyed a bright raspberry or blue color after they were imported into the United States. This is the origin of the Sarough rug’s distinctive color palette.

How Did Sarough Rugs Originate?

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the village of Sarough became renowned for exquisite, hand-woven carpets with floral designs that were primarily sold in the American market. Sarough rugs manufactured before the First World War showed a strong Turkish influence and tended to sport a classic central medallion design while rugs manufactured after the War made use of floral patterns on a raspberry backdrop.
One distinct subset of Sarough rugs is called Feraghan or Farahan Saroughs. These are room-sized carpets with an extremely fine weave comprised of asymmetrical wool knots on a cotton background. Farahan Saroughs typically showcase traditional medallion patterns surrounded by a floral border in a soft apple green or pistachio color.

Distinguished Designers from Arak

Some Arak rug designers became very well known within Iran for the carpets produced from their designs. Among these designers were:

• Isa Bahadori: Born in 1908 in Arak, Isa Bahadori gained international prominence when one of the rugs he designed won a coveted gold medal at the Brussels Exhibition.
• Asadollah Daqiqi 1905 – 1962: Asadollah Daqiqi learned the art of carpet design at the Mirza Abdollah Raisabadi School in Arak, and went on to establish one of Arak’s leading rug design centers.
• Zabihollah Abtahi: In the early part of the 20th century, Arak’s most famous rug designer was Zabihollah Abtahi who got his start in the rug industry in 1907 at the age of ten. Zabihollah Abtahi is best known for his exquisite Arabesque and Palmette Flower designs.

  • Asadollah Abtahi
  • Abdolkarim Rafiei
  • Asadollah Ghaffari
  • Jafar Chagani
  • Seyed Hajagha Eshghi (Golbaz)
  • Hosein and Hasan Tehrani
  • Zabihollah Abtahi

Are Sarough Rugs Still Being Made in the Traditional Way in the Region?

Carpet weavers in Arak continue to hand produce beautiful Sarough rugs today. Sarough rugs continue to be created by artisans who adhere closely to traditional hand-looming methods. Modern consumers have more sophisticated tastes when it comes to subtle colors, so Sarough rugs are no longer re-dyed after they are woven to intensify their hues.

Sarough carpets are woven from high quality wools using the traditional Persian knot, which means they will stand up to decades of use. Elegant, beautiful and durable, Sarough carpets are among the most popular carpets coming out of Iran today.


Abolhassan Mousavi

Seyed Abolhassan Mousavi Sirat was born in Hamedan, one of the greatest Iranian centers of carpet weaving, in 1943. He was interested in painting even as a child.

Abolhassan Mousavi

His father was an architect.

He took Seyed Abolhassan to a well – known masterof carpet designing, Mirza Reza Yeganeh. He  Continued hisformal school education concurrentwith  his education in carpetdesigning  and left  for  Tehran in 1964 when he had  acquired a great skill in that  field and  had  completed his school education .

He completed his knowledgeof designing under supervision of Mr. Abdolkarim Rafiei in Ministry of Culture & Arts. He obtained greater Knowledge and skill in carpet weaving. He continued his career in Iran Carpet Co. Later on, he completed his knowledge of miniature under the supervision of Jabbar Beik.

Education & professional courses of Abolhassan Mousavi

-Honorary PhD of Iranian handicrafts.

-A specialist of classical designing and painting.

-A specialist of dying and combination of color threads.

-A specialist of differentweaving styles.

-A specialist in designing andraised image carpets (tri- dimensional )

-A specialist ofapplication of silver and gold threads and preciousstones inCarpets.

-A specialist of designing and production of special Klimswith complicated designs.

Professions of Abolhassan Mousavi

– Former designer in Ministry of culture & Arts.

– Designer & producer offine and artistic carpets

– Professional dying

– Combination of dyed threads

– Supervision of specific Designing, dying weaving, and carpet completion process.

Other professional Activities

– A member of the board of the first carpet cooperative.

– A teacher of surveyors of Iranian Customs House

– 1st to prepare the questions in the overall university examinations (on Carpet)

– A consulting professor to thestudents of handicrafts course of study (carpet).

– Chairman of the board of directors in cooperative company of Sirat Carpet Gallery (Tehran).

-Chairman of the board of directors in sirat Baft cooperative company.

-Manager of Mousavi Carpet Designing Gallery.

-Manager of designing, dying, thread combination, weaving and treatment workshops.

Artistic Background

-Teacher of professional Designing & weaving Courses.

-Participation in 1st International Fair of Iranian carpet (1991).

-Participation in 2nd International Iranian Carpet Fair – 1992.

-Participation in 3rd International Iranian Carpet Fair – 1993.

-Participation in 4th InternationalIranian Carpet Fair 1995.

-Participation  in International Carpet Fair , Toronto,  Canada 1997

(Under the title: The star of Iranian Carpet).

-Participation in International Carpet fair – Qatar – 1994.

-Participation in International Carpet Fair, Lebanon 1993.

-Participation in International Carpet Fair –Hanover, Germany 1994.

-Participation in International Carpet Fair, Hanover, Germany1995.

-Participation in International Carpet Fair, Hanover 1996.

-Participation in International Carpet Fair, Stuttgart, Germany 1997.

-Participation in international Carpet fair in the U.A.E (Dubai) –1995.

-Participation in Asian & oceanic Carpet Fair (Tehran) 1997.

-Participation in the specific fairof the Intentional Conference of the Heads of Islamic States (Tehran).

-Holding of about 30 individual and group exhibitions.

-Participation in International Carpet Fair in Iranian Carpet Museum –2003.

-And / may other international fairs inside the country and abroad.