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Oriental carpet manufactory in Nain

Habibian manufactured oriental carpets from the province of Nain (provenance, Origin) have a well-earned reputation. Due to their high quality and pleasing designs (pattern, drawing) they quickly earned a reputation of outstanding quality.

Real Habibian Nains are relatively rare and quite easy to spot because their Duktus (style, style direction) is "curvier" than the lines of the other knots. The founder of the manufacturer by the same named died of old age a few years ago.


Central Persian carpet provenance

Nain is one of the best-known carpet provinces (provenance, origin) of Iran. It takes its name from the city of the same name northwest of Isfahan. Nain has an old web tradition. Before the Khadjaren dynasty (1794 - 1925) the highest-quality throws called "Aba" were made for noblemen here. Under the influence of Western culture, "Aba" as a clothing was replaced by the suit and traded less and less. The weavers moved their business and began to make carpets. Today's Nain carpets owe their unmistakable patterns and color combinations to the master Hadj Fatollah Habibian Naiini. He worked with less than ten colours and thus laid the foundation for the still popular carpet. The basic colours are still mostly white or beige and blue, although more and more Nain rugs have bcome availeble in the colours red, green and yellow. With their simple elegance the Nain also fit into modern, reduced establishments.


One distinguishes the Nain in 4 quality levels, which are indicated in "Lah". It describes the number of threads from which the warp is twisted. The more threads, the thicker the warp and thus the knots and the lower the weave density:


Nain 12Lah: Also known as Kashmar-Nain, with roughly 150,000 - 250,000 knots / square meter is the coarsest Nain. It is usually made according to the traditions of weavers from Nain, in the Khorasan area, so it is not actually a Nain rug


Nain 9Lah: In Persian the carpet called No-lah Nain is qualitatively superior to the 12Lah Nain with its approx. 350,000 - 550,000 knots / square meter. It is a popular furnishing rug and good value for money.


Nain 6Lah: The glory of this provenance is due to the fine 6Lah or Schisch-Lah Nain. Throughout the Orient it is considered a particularly high quality Persian carpet. The weaving density is around 850,000 - 1,200,000 knots / square meter


Nain 4Lah: The Nain 4Lah is perhaps the finest Iranian wool rug with about 1,200,000 - 2,000,000 knots / square meter.


The noble classic among Persian carpets

The city of Isfahan is one of the pearls of the Islamic world. Isfahan owes its artistic tradition, historical cityscape and unique architecture to the Safavid dynasty and especially Shah Abbas.


The design of the Isfahan varies greatly. Typical are floral motifs. Quadrilateral or longitudinally symmetrical designs with an emblem in the centre, surrounded by arabesques, flowers or birds are widespread. Variations of the central emblem are usually repeated in the corners of the central field.


The basic color is usually classic red, typical also are a bright blue and a light beige. With usually more than 15 shades, the Isfahan is very colorful.


The Isfahan is made as a city carpet mainly by the women at home and according to strict design specifications. Not infrequently it even takes a year or longer until a bridge is finished.


Even today, many Isfahan rugs carry a mostly discreetly woven Arabic lettering at the bottom. To read is the manufacturer's name, the designation of origin Isfahan and often the country code, either as the word "Iran" or in the national colors of the flag (green, white, red).


West Iranian carpet provenance

Sarough is one of Iran's most important carpet provenances. There are Persian patterns of all genres, sometimes also according to the orderer, weaver. With great fondness the neighboring Feraghan as well as the own Sultanabad-designs and the Mir-i-Boteh are also realised. The knots are very fine and the pile relatively high.

Täbris, Tabriz

Northwestern Iranian carpet provenance

Tabriz lies 1367 meters above sea level in a large depression dominated to the south by the extinct volcano Sahend and to the east by the Qucheh Dâgh. In the west, the terrain flattens off to Resayeh Lake. The name is traced back to Tav-riz, which means "source of the rivers" and refers to the many sources of Sahend.

Tabriz is one of the most important breeding regions of Iran and looks back on an old tradition. At the bazaar, carpets are traded from all over the province.

In Tabriz, carpets of various categories are produced, up to the finest of knotted carpets, which are among the best known in Iran. The designs are very diverse: e.g. with classic emblems or "allover", with garden or hunting motifs or prayer rugs.


Persian-English carpet manufactory of the 19th century

In the 19th century, a Swiss named Ziegler, later a naturalised British subject, founded a weaving mill in Manchester, which successfully exported its cloth to the Orient.


However, with the increase in demand in Persia, the problem of converting the local currency, the Persian Rial, into convertible currency and transferring it to the United Kingdom arose. For smaller amounts of money, the company Ziegler & Co., Tabriz, managed to exchange them for Russian gold imports, which were then trasfered under escort to Baku and from there via St. Petersburg to London. Way too complicated and via the perilous overland routes full of dangers. So one adopted the idea to redeem the Rial earned from the sales of cloth & yarn to buy domestic products and then export these against pound sterling.


Nowadays we refer to this form of trade, practiced mainly with soft currency countries, counter-trade, which is considered a modern, efficient form of foreign trade. Amongst these purchases in Persia were carpets that Ziegler exported to Europe and the surrounding countries, especially to India, then under British rule. This pratice of intensive purchasing gradually threatened to dry up the the primary element of Persian carpets.


But a German Ziegler employee named Oskar Strauss, who is described as extremely enterprising, had an idea: as a way out of this dilemma, he suggested that under his own direction Ziegler should produce carpets in Persia. With the introduction of labour-intensive production, in the 1870s in the Sarough and Arak (at that time Sultanabad) Strauss organised at first the production of mainly cheaper quality carpets. The pile yarns for these roughly knotted carpets were often dyed with the aniline dyes, which had since been invented in Germany. The sales of these newly produced carpets was extremely successful. However, the then aniline dyes faded quite quickly, a flaw that unjustifiably clings to the synthetic dyes today. A calm, pale color was the result. This pale play of colours is so much in demand that resourceful importers came up with the idea of ​​re-creating this carpet type in North Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Egypt and Turkey in just these dull colors, but with a much improved quality than the ancient forerunners: The today's Ziegler carpet - originally only a faded cheap quality - was born.


Woven in Turkey, these are sold as Ushak, but they do not have the slightest thing in common with the antique provenance (provenance, origin) of Ushak. In defence of the company Ziegler & Co., it is important to note that with increasing demand they were able to make progressively better qualities. This production was shipped via the Black Sea ports of Batum (Georgia) and Trebizond (Turkey) via Istanbul to Europe and the USA. Carpets went to India via Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf and were unloaded in Bombay.

Risbaff, Ritzbaff

New provenance, originated from the Gabbeh

The full provenance  (provenance, origin) is in Persian: Gabbeh-Risbaff. The addition of Risbaff means "knotted", indicating that this rug is a refined development of the coarser gabbeh. The knotted densities of the Risbaff reach well over 200,000 knots / square meter. Risbaff knots are also offered as Loribaff and Kabulibaff, named after tribal designations of the producing knotters in southern Persia.

Loribaff or Luribaff

new oriental carpet provenance from Persia

The Luribaff is a finer variant of the Gabbeh knotted from the Luren of south-western Persia. Carpets of the same design, knotting, colours and materials are also sold as Kashgulibaff or Risbaff. The latter means "fine knot" and is therefore also a clear indication of the previously knotted, considerably coarser Gabbeh. The additional syllable "baff" means as much as "... knotted", in other words, loosely knotted.


The provenance name Luri or Loribaff is more recent and refers to oriental rugs that follow the tradition of Ghashghai knots, as the overall picture and as the style of many innovations and developments show. The name goes back to the people of Lurans living in southern Persia, who incidentally see themselves as direct descendants of the ancient Medes. In professional circles, the Luribaffs are to some extent regarded as refined and further developed followers of the Gabbehs.


Both knotted-carpet types are mainly knotted by the tribes of the Lures, Kurds and Ghashgais of this large region. As far as the ones from the Gashghais go, they are called Kaschghulibaff after the Kashghuli constituent. However, this new provenance name is to be understood more as a generic name, because this type of carpet is now also linked by others, located in the province of Fars ethnic groups. Hence the name Farsbaff, which is rarely mentioned.


Warp and weft yarns are traditionally made of sheep's wool. Rarely do you find other cotton fabrics too. It is knotted with the Turkish knot, also called Gördes, Turkbaff or Symmetrical knot. As in this part of the country, it is commonly used on the horizontal loom. The knotting densities are between 120,000 and 160,000 knots / square meter. Recently, however, even finer to 200,000 knots / square meter in the trade. Colours and designs (pattern, drawing) clearly identify the forerunners, the knots of the Ghashghais and Luris. In contrast to the traditional Gaschghai carpets, some of which are also floral patterned, the Luribaffs generally show a geometric style (style, characteristic). The loop is relatively high, the grip firm to boardy. Designs (patterning, drawing) and colours adapt to the trends in the import markets. For Iranian households, these new references have no meaning, so they are purely for export and in accordance to the wishes of consumers in the import markets.


Iranian knotted carpet provenance

Ardebil is the place of origin and also the burial place of the Safavid dynasty (1501 to 1722), so important for Persia and the carpet weaving art. This now rather insignificant provincial town was famous for the Ardebil carpet (Holy Carpet, 16th century) from the Mosque of Ardebil, which was bought in the second half of the 19th century by the German Oscar Strauss on behalf of the Ziegler Company.


The traditionally patterned Ardebil links are geometrically shaped and strongly influenced by Caucasian influences. They are, however, very well distinguishable from their godparents; through their knotting, their play of colours or their own colour combinations, as well as their different types of pile wool, which is not as shiny and drier than the wool of the Caucasians. In addition, most Ardebils have a cotton base fabric. Floral ajar designs (pattern, drawing) occur only in exceptional cases and then appear noticeably geometricised.

Bakhtiar, Bakhtiari

Oriental Carpet Provenance and Folk Community in Iran

The Bakhtiars are an old, widely ramified people living in southwestern Iran. The collective name of their rugs is Bachtiar or Bachtiari, where the i corresponds to our preposition "from".


There are numerous sub-provenances (provenance, origin) with different designs (pattern, drawing). Among the best known include Babaheidar, Beni, Bibibaff, Boldadji (almost exclusively as a field carpet), Dehkord, Henneghoun, Paradombeh, Saman, Schalamsar, Schale-Schotor, Scharekord and Chahar-Mahal. Despite their extensive palette, the Bachtiar carpets are similar in their coluor compositions, in the various craftsmanship and in the style (pattern, characteristic), which is always floral.

Bijar / Bidjar

Northwest Iranian carpet provenance

Bidjar carpets are traditionally distinguished by their origin from the city of Bidjar and Tekab, 50 km away. Bidjar carpets from Bidjar are made by the Kurds, from Tekab by the Afshars. Both production areas are located in Kermanshah province.


The two Bidjar groups differ primarily by the strength of the weft thread used. At the Kurdish Bidjar a particularly thick weft yarn is struck extremely hard. The Afshar Bidjar has the thinner shot and is thus a bit more supple and valuable. So that the longitudinal edges do not roll down, stable compensation strips are sewn on. Bidjars are made only by men.


From the pattern, the two Bidjar genres hardly differ. Very popular is the Herati pattern, with and without emblem. This can be relatively small or often consist of a powerfully expansive hexagon. The base colour is usually a warm rusty red.


Typical for the Bidjar is the design of the corner in the borders. Unlike most other provenances, there is no specific cornerstone solution. The patterns of the borders are simply cut off and often appear fragmented. This is not a weaving error and also occurs in high-quality Bidjar.


Today, the bidjar carpets are usually classified according to their main trading places Bukan, Tekab and Sandjan.


In India, good links have been established over many years. The colours are usually more restrained and the handcraftmanship execution does not correspond exactly to the Persian original.


South Persian nomadic carpet

Gabbehs are nomadic carpets from the southern Persian province of Fars. Most of these rugs are woven by the Ghashgai nomads.


The designs (style, drawing) are geometric. Rhombuses, diamonds, on the rare occasion rectangles, large hooks and simply drawn animals as well as stylised flowers enliven the field. Pattern templates do not exist. All patterns are woven from memory. That's how new ideas and pattern details are introduced. The pile is made of coarse thick wool.


Finer knots are woven by the Luren and come as Loribaff (translated: "Luren weavers") and Risbaff (translated: "Finely woven") in the trade. Genuine Persian Gabbehs and their finely woven are an expression of a sense of life.


Also widely used are weavers from India, which skilfully reproduce the classic Gabbeh motifs.

Qom / Ghom

Carpet provenance in Central Iran

Ghom is a relatively new carpet provenance. Since one could not build on a tradition, the patterns from other weaving areas were and are being adopted. Over time this has developed into a style of its own. Woven with wool and silk in sizes up to 2 x 3 m, rarely larger. The background is mostly light colours with finely drawn emblem patterns or continuous Boteh and vase patterns.

Hunting carpet

Carpet with hunting motifs

Hunting scenes are a popular motif in today's knots of provenances (provenance, origin) Ghoum, Isfahan, Tabriz and Keschan, but also in cashmere and Pakistan rugs.


The hunting motives follow firmly anchored guidelines: You can always make out the Shah between the mounted hunters. The ruler has the sole privilege, already guarded since Sumerian times, to kill the lion. At that time, the king of animals still lived in the far East Asian region and was untouchable for "the lower ones". The other hunters kill leopards, gazelles and other, fast-footed game. Sometimes one or the other also has a bird of prey on his fist.


Finely-woven Afghan rugs

Because of its node densities of up to 700,000 knots / square meter, the Afghan Kabulibaff belongs to the top category. It will be linked to Kabul and the wider catchment area of the state capital. During the war, its production was outsourced to northern Pakistan. The Kabulibaff therefore comes as a carpet of provenance (provenance, origin) Peshawar in the trade.


Warp, weft and pile yarns are made entirely of wool or pure silk or a combination of both. The purely geometric style (style, pattern) follows the striking style of the Turkmen Bucharas and is based predominantly on the style (pattern, drawing) of the Hatschlous. The colour scheme is consistently dark and restrained, mostly in shades of brown. Since Kabulibaff is a purely an exported carpet, all the patterns and colours desired by the clients are also realised.


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