Perhaps one of the most beautiful rugs ever made is a Tabriz rug; it defines the legends and history together with the sensitivity of the Persian world. Tabriz rugs are extremely aesthetically pleasing works of art which gather in their elegant patterns the myth of ancient traditions. Having such a carpet in your home will personalize it and give it the originality you always wished for.
Tabriz rugs come from the second largest city in Iran which is situated in the Persian Azerbaijan province which in the northwestern part of the country. This ancient city has a tumultuous story, which pre dates current records, for it was already a flourishing oasis when it was first mentioned in a written document.
Despite the wars, invasions and occupations it has been through, the inhabitants of the city managed to make the rug craftsmanship thrive commercially, with just a single period in the 19th Century when the business declined. The development of the Tabriz rug business throughout history was dominated by single families and sometimes even dynasties. During the Safavid Dynasty era (1499-1722), the town met with its cultural and economic climax, when members of this dynasty founded workshops and improved the commercial relationships, thus making Tabriz one of the artistic centers of Iran, Tabriz is now one of the main producers of high quality Persian rugs, if not the most prolific of them all.
But why is a Tabriz rug so special? Besides being of very high quality, these carpets show the weaver’s exceptional artistic skills, which have shown to have been transmitted from generation to generation. They are exclusively hand-made and generally colored with natural dyes although some carpets manufactured after 1945 may be synthetically dyed and may have fewer KPSI.
The weave is most commonly made of very fine cotton, but some craftsmen use silk or a combination of these two and for the pile, they usually blend Kurk wool and silk. Some of the finest rugs use silk as an essential part for both the foundation and the pile, and even gold threads are interwoven in the base.
Some of the technical singularities of a Tabriz rug lie in the fact that they have double wefts usually made of cotton or wool together with cotton warps; they also have a combination of the Turkish and Persian knots (many of them have only Turkish double symmetric knots) and a tightly woven doubled foundation. The nap is slightly hard to the touch and very short trimmed for high-quality rugs and longer for the average carpet.
The patterns, colors and the large number of hues used are characteristics of a Tabriz rug and can have a palette which may range from dark red and navy blue as predominant colors, to ivy, tan, soft green and other pastels as contrasting colors. Tabriz rugs are known for the large number of colors used in a single piece. and usually have intricate patterns, with small and complicated details. Most Tabriz rugs have a medallion in the middle and quarters of medallion at the corners (shah abbasi, islimi, or a combination of the two), but there are some which may have geometric, simpler patterns where floral motifs are predominant, with vases, palmettos and hunting scenes near the edge. The diversity is overwhelming; however, some patterns are rare and can only be found in private collections or as family possessions.
Such magnificent rugs can bring a piece of the oriental magic into any room of your house. Who knows, maybe Aladdin’s fantastic carpet will find its place straight at your feet!