Classic carpet patterns: the eternal masterpiece
The rug is the final touch that completes the decor, and sometimes it can be the first touch if you want it to be the focal point from which to start, and there are many reasons to fall in love with this true “interior gem”, starting from being an authentic and time-honored traditional art More and more popular among different peoples and cultures, down to its practical functions, rich and deep colors, beautiful designs, and symbolic patterns that do not fail to guarantee an authentic style, carpets have witnessed throughout the ages many charming and majestic patterns designed by the most professional weavers, which presented It offers an elegant spirit that brings effortless elegance to any space in our homes.
Before you start searching for the perfect carpet, which will decorate your decor, and add warmth and vibrant colors to the surroundings, we invite you, in this detailed guide, to explore with us the most important different styles of carpets, their history and characteristics..
Seventeenth century carpets
The seventeenth century
The seventeenth century began on January 1, 1601 and ended on December 31, 1700. This century was marked by the birth of modern science with Galileo, the Thirty Years' War, and the continuation of European colonization of the Americas. This century also witnessed the greatest development of the carpet industry, and textile weaving witnessed a new golden age during This century, and the peak of the technical perfection of this industry is not only in the regions extending from Asia Minor to the east between the thirtieth and forty-fifth degrees of northern latitude; Rather, it is in the countries of Europe that were captivated by the eastern carpet, responsive to practical, aesthetic and religious purposes all at the same time.
So, what are the most important aspects of the development of the carpet industry in the seventeenth century? How? and where?
French carpets of the seventeenth century
The French Republic is a transcontinental country whose territory extends in Western Europe and overseas (in the Indian, Atlantic, Pacific, and Australian oceans as well as in South America), and the country has land borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Monaco, and Andorra in Europe, to which land borders have been added with Brazil, Suriname, and the Netherlands in the Americas, and France has significant sea fronts on the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, allowing it to tap into the second largest exclusive economic zone in the world.
France witnessed the birth of the carpet industry in the seventeenth century, when the royal authority wanted to compete and outperform the Flemish-Belgian production on the one hand, and oriental carpets on the other, by bringing foreign weavers to Paris, Henry IV and Louis XIII encouraged the development of French production, And when the French production of handmade carpets began in 1608, on the initiative of Henry IV, Turkish carpets were used as a model and thus the symmetrical knot was used.
The beginning of the Savonnière and Gobelins carpets
In 1628, production was moved to an abandoned soap factory at the gates of Paris, hence the name (Savonnerie). The oldest carpets made in Savonnerie are often referred to as Louis XIV carpets, which is somewhat misleading because they were made during the years of the reign of Louis XIII, and these carpets were richly decorated with flowers, often in vases or baskets, but, there were also military motifs and architectural elements, and patterns were borrowed from textiles and paintings from Holland and Belgian Flanders, and the most famous carpets made in the Savonnière workshop are 105 carpets, These are the ones that were woven for the Great Gallery, the Gallery of Apollon, in the Louvre Palace, and the peak of production of the Savonnier workshop lasted from 1650 to 1789, when it produced works of great beauty for the royal and imperial palaces, and it was woven on the Turkish model, that is, the so-called symmetrical (symmetrical) knot.
The role of Louis XIV was also decisive in the carpet industry in France. In 1662, his minister Colbert founded the Gobelins manufactory, and two years later, he founded the Bovet workshop, which raised French tapestry to the highest degree of perfection, and the best Parisian painters worked on it. Sophistication, such as Simon Foy, and Charles Le Berne, to whom France owes exemplars of the most beautiful French tapestries of the seventeenth century.
By royal decree of 4 May 1825, Charles X united the Savonnière manufactory with the Gobelins manufactory, but it was not until the beginning of 1826 that the looms were sent there, and experienced an unusual period of activity during which their production, reserved exclusively for the King, was used either for diplomatic gifts or to furnish the residences After that, the quality of the carpets deteriorated.
Many examples of carpets of the period survive, including many in the archives of the Palace of Versailles and the Musée du Louvre. They are large in size (about 9 meters by 4 meters or 4.50 metres), always rectangular in shape and sometimes reproduce ceiling arches with a central decoration consisting of of large scrolls and acanthus leaves, and at the ends landscapes or reliefs in medallions, and palm patterns or decorations occupy the corners, and symbols and emblems of the king can be found everywhere in the carpet. Despite the extraordinary wealth of the textile industry in Europe, however, the end of the period was affected by the consequences of the political situation and the wars that drained the kingdom's treasury. In 1694, all workers were dismissed, and the factory closed its doors for five years, to open the way for other adventures!
Some authors say that the beginnings of the carpet industry in Aubusson owe their origins to the Muslims who were going to settle on the banks of the River Creuse after their defeat in the Battle of Poitiers in 732, as Father Leclerc wrote: “To attribute the origin of Aubusson to a group of Muslims who fled from the attacks of Charles Martel in 732 .” Martel had defeated the governor of Andalusia, Abd al-Rahman al-Ghafiqi, in the Battle of the Martyrs’ Court, which took place on October 10, 732 AD.
Production began at the Aubusson carpet factory in Creuse, France, in 1743 in a small private workshop. Hand-knotted carpets were made in Beauvais from 1789 to 1792. These carpets copied Turkish designs, but then moved to simpler forms in the Savonnier style. At the time, Aubusson became the world capital of weaving, and the weavers used sheep's wool as a material for weaving, and thanks to their skills, they were able to manufacture a large group of carpets, at a center in Aubusson but most of them are now scattered all over the world, and one can quote for example; The largest tapestries in the world that adorn Coventry Cathedral, Sydney Opera House, and airfields in Arabia, have all been woven into Aubusson, UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Maritime France, the Kremlin and many other prestigious places have been added to the long list that have hosted Aubusson carpets, and still are carpets The Lady with the Unicorn, a carpet with the pattern of a thousand flowers, the most famous Aubusson tapestry, was discovered in one of the largest and most beautiful buildings in Creuse: the "Château de Boussac", preserved in the National Museum of the Middle Ages in Thermes, and displayed in the Musée de Cluny in Paris.
Like other factories, the Aubusson textile factory, over time, went through periods of prosperity and periods of crisis, as the revolution damaged the royal carpet factories.
At present, there is no production in France worth mentioning, but the styles and designs of Savonnière and Aubusson are copied, by countries such as China, India and Pakistan, while in the private sector some workshops are still working in a traditional way, as in Morugis in Burgundy, In this small village, in particular, tufted or hand-woven carpets are made, in classical or modern style.
English carpets of the seventeenth century
It is one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, bordered by Wales to the west, Scotland to the north, the Irish Sea to the northwest, the Celtic Sea to the southwest, the North Sea to the east, and the Channel Channel to the south that separates it from continental Europe, and its territory covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain , which is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, and which includes more than a hundred small islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and White.
The history of England in the seventeenth century is very turbulent, as a new dynasty "Stewart" occupied the throne, but attempts to establish absolute rule led in 1642 to the outbreak of civil war between the king's supporters and supporters of Parliament, and in 1649 England underwent the military dictatorship of Olivier Cromwell, and order was restored the monarchy in 1660, but in 1688 the prospect of a Catholic monarch sparked revolt, and King James II was expelled and replaced by a daughter and son-in-law who agreed to be controlled by Parliament where two opposing parties dominated, and from 1689 England joined the camp of opponents of Louis XIV.
Carpets in England before the seventeenth century
In the beginning and before the seventeenth century, the manufacture of carpets in the United Kingdom was closely linked to the discovery of oriental carpets, fascination with them, and the desire to reproduce them. The reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) favored foreign trade, the consumption of luxury goods, and the establishment of manufactures. The Muscovite Company and the Anglo-Turkish Company (founded 1555) regularly imported carpets from Turkey and Persia. During the second half of the seventeenth century, the East India Company brought, Founded by Elizabeth I in 1601, many rugs from Turkey, Persia, and Mogul India, these purchases caused a great slowdown in English carpet production, although a dyer named Morgan Hobblethorne was sent to Persia in 1579 with the task of learning the art of carpet making and retransferring craft skills, but it seems that the task is not completed; The asymmetrical Persian knot has not been approved in the United Kingdom.
Until the seventeenth century, the oriental carpet in England remained an object of astonishing luxury and splendor, and with its rare and precious designs it was reserved for the king and dignitaries, and was placed at their feet or on tables, or on the bed of the portable throne of Elizabeth's audience.
The English carpets produced between 1570 and 1603 show two trends: one imitating the Anatolian carpet and its exceptional character; The other is inspired by Persian iconography, and is more directly inspired by the floral catalog of the Elizabethan era.
From the very beginning, the Anatolian carpet formed the final model: it was necessary to reproduce symmetrical knots and geometric patterns, and during the development of this activity, only symmetrical knots were used; On the other hand, ornaments developed rapidly, and the materials used were hemp or flax for the warp and weft, and wool for knot-spinning, and wool weft was more common from the eighteenth century.
The carpet was made in England mainly using two techniques: the knotted carpet and the needle-on-cloth carpet. Flat-woven carpets seem to have been executed in a very exceptional way. As for tablecloths, knotted or needle-embroidered, they differ from floor carpets in their decoration, often Arranged in profile, this one consists of scenes taken from the Bible and the Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid.
After this period of research, the carpet industry witnessed a serious slowdown due to cost, scarcity of labor, installation difficulties, and abundant and regular imports of carpets from the East. The political crises that shook the country during the seventeenth century were not conducive to the development of this activity either, so carpets from this period seem very rare. , however it is characterized by mainly floral motifs still reborn and characterized by naturalistic iconography and Elizabethan embroidery, geometric patterns are out of place and gentry tapestries are becoming rarer.
And the carpet industry in England benefited, after the stagnation of the seventeenth century, from the contribution of the Huguenot workers of Aubusson and Savonnière, who fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and it was active until the middle of the eighteenth century, three central factories for the production of most carpets in England, namely :
- Basafon Factory, a Swiss textile factory in Fulham, London.
- Thomas Witty's factory in Axminster on the eastern border of Devon, founded in 1755.
- Thomas More's factory, founded in 1757 at Moorfield, near London.
The neoclassical style reached its peak from 1760 to 1780 in Great Britain thanks to Robert Adam, the architect and decorator, and focused on simple forms, consisting of geometric or floral motifs. Greek friezes and Etruscan and Pompeian motifs used at the time indicate a renewed interest in antiquity.
Persian carpets in the seventeenth century
The heyday of carpet design and weaving in Iran was the Safavid carpet under the support of the Safavid dynasty in 1152-907 AH (1501-1739), this caused the emergence of many factors, among them, being in the support of the ruling court, which made the designers of the ruling court create works of art At all levels, a lot of access to raw materials and colors, both in domestic and imported products.
Shah Abbas period 1587–1629
Before talking about carpets during the period of Shah Abbas, it is necessary to know who Shah Abbas was, and how his interest affected this art.
Shah Abbas (1571_ 1629), known as Shah Abbas the Great or the Great, was the fifth king of the Safavid dynasty, and he is the son and successor of Shah Muhammad Khodabandeh. He ruled Iran for more than 41 years until his death. Shah Abbas was interested in architecture, music, painting, poetry and various arts, and during his reign Persian carpets reached their peak and witnessed their golden age, and international museums bear witness to the most beautiful and finest types of Persian carpets remaining from his era.
With the support of Shah Abbasi, industries such as carpet weaving were upgraded from the level of rural industry to the level of fine arts that could be exported to Europe, which also happened to the textile industry as a whole, and in this way the textiles that were produced in the textile centers of Isfahan, Kashan, Yazd, and Rasht were produced. , such as silk and fine fabrics in Iran, and in light of this interest and royal support, this industry gained a good reputation.
Shah Abbas, after his accession to power, had chosen Isfahan as his capital, and the reason for that was that Isfahan was considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world at the time, and this city became one of the most important carpet production centers in Persia during the reign of Shah Abbas, and during this period, he produced The Isfahani weavers produce very fine and valuable carpets, as they were trained in the official schools and weaving workshops of the city.
The master designers during the reign of Shah Abbas created wonderful works of art that are still part of the heritage of this dynasty, and the antique carpets that were produced during this period are currently among the most beautiful types of carpets in the world, and the art of carpet design reached its peak during this period and many original designs were presented And the world-famous color combinations during the reign of Shah Abbas, and the combination of these designs and colors eventually became special and popular traditional motifs in that era.
The designs produced by the graduates of the carpet weaving workshops during the Safavid era gradually became very popular all over the world, and this popularity gave the Safavid dynasty great economic and political power. During the Shah Abbas period, carpets became an important industry and began to be exported outside the country. During this period, silk production also flourished in Iran.
During the reign of Shah Abbas, the use of the designs of great and famous weavers and designers caused a major shift in the field of carpet production, and this transformation is still the main feature of the designs and patterns of Shah Abbas carpets. However, the textiles of the Safavid era, which are rooted in Persian history, culture, and art, are still present, and artists use them to create beautiful designs on carpets.
The attractive designs were not the only factors that made this authentic Persian carpet popular all over the world, but the bright and beautiful colors used in the Shah Abbas carpets are also one of the reasons for their popularity, the colors of these carpets varied a lot, so you rarely find a carpet with this design Which consists of a combination of 3 or less than 3 colors.
Currently, it can be seen that the designs of Shah Abbasi carpets are used to weave many other types of hand-woven carpets, because the unique beauty of this carpet has attracted the attention of Iranians and foreigners, meanwhile, the flower of Shah Abbasi is the most important carpet design of Shah Abbas, and it is said that it originated in the period Pre-Safavid, this pattern is called the lotus flower, which is also observed on the dishes of the pre-Islamic era. In general, the designs of Shah Abbas carpets decorated with this beautiful flower and made up of classic patterns and shapes from the era of Shah Abbas are very beautiful and unique, and this design constitutes , along with geometric and classical motifs, the main part of the carpets of Shah Abbas.
In the spring of 1601 A.D., the ruler of Poland, Sigismund III, commissioned an Armenian merchant named "Muratotis" to travel to Iran and buy some carpets for the Polish royal palaces. He also commissioned the aforementioned merchant, the weavers of Kashan, to weave these carpets, who at that time had great experience and fame. In weaving silk carpets, about 300 carpets were woven, of which 8 pieces are now preserved in the Munich Museum, 4 pieces in the shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, and another number in Rosenberg Castle in Copenhagen in Denmark, and the dominant color of these carpets was pink, green and light yellow This carpet was reminded of the works of great artists such as Kamal al-Din Behzad, Ali Reza Abbasi, and Sultan Muhammad Naqqash. After Shah Abbas, Persia probably did not witness a ruler who was interested in Persian culture and literature until the emergence of Nadir Shah Safavi after Shah Abbas.
Afghan carpets are carpets of war and peace
It is a landlocked country in South Asia or Central Asia surrounded by Uzbekistan to the north, China and Tajikistan to the northeast, Pakistan to the east and southeast, Iran to the west, and Turkmenistan to the northwest.
In ancient times, this country was an important crossing point on the Silk Road and for the invaders who wanted to control India: Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Emperor Babur, etc. This region is also the core of vast empires such as the Bactrian Empire, the Kushan Empire, or the Ghaznavid Empire. Islam began to spread there from the end of the seventh century. Following the collapse of the Persian kingdom of Afsharid, Afghanistan became a sovereign entity in 1747, under the leadership of General Ahmad Shah Durrani, who In the same year he became the country's first badshah.
Afghan carpets refer to rugs traditionally made in Afghanistan. The tradition of carpet weaving belongs to the indigenous people of Afghanistan (Pashtuns), and also to the Turkmen (especially Turkmen women) who are famous for the quality of their weaving and patterns. Previously, carpet weaving was intended to provide additional income or an important source of income. To populate villages or allow women to gain a certain financial independence, as a lifeline for Afghan refugees later when wars tore this country apart.
Carpets are one of the important and ancient industries in Afghanistan and this industry is more popular in the north of the country and most of the workers in this industry are women, and most of the materials used in weaving handmade Afghan carpets are made from natural materials, and the Afghan carpets are 100% hand-woven with different designs and colors by carpet weavers who are generally Turkmen and Uzbeks.
History of Afghan Carpets
In Central Asia and the Middle East, the weaving activity has existed for more than 2,000 years, which also includes a geographical and historical part of the carpet industry in Afghanistan, and forms an integral part of the craft and artistic culture of this country, and these works were originally woven from sheep's wool, which could take a year to complete, and are hand-stitched by women from Bedouin tribes such as the Baluchi, Hazara, Zkeni, Temini, and Turkmen.
Handmade carpets have been produced in modern-day Afghanistan for centuries, as Afghanistan became a haven for nomadic carpet-weaving tribes, who were pushed farther and farther from their traditional historical lands by great powers. A few silk carpets.
Due to the turbulent recent history of Afghanistan, especially the Soviet invasion, millions of Afghan refugees fled to Iran and Pakistan, and as a result, these carpets are woven in these countries by refugee Afghan weavers who, in structure, dyes, etc., are indistinguishable from those made in Afghanistan Recently, many Afghan refugees have begun to return to their homes in Afghanistan.
Today, Afghanistan produces a variety of carpets through weavers settled in villages, nomadic tribes, and workshops. Traditionally, carpets usually include shades of red and brown, but modern Afghanistan also produces a variety of more modern carpet designs. Half of the locally made Afghan carpets are intended for the market. The Afghan remains the main port, the other half for export, and the economic benefits of exports are mainly shared between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the city of Peshawar remaining a gateway to the outside world.
Afghan carpet designs
Charming Afghan rugs often reflect the legacy of artwork that has been passed down through generations of Afghan families. The majority of these rugs are made of Persian knots in muted colors of woolly brown and red. The most common knot in that knot is asymmetric. The fibers are often made of goat hair. The patterns are often göl (an elephant-foot pattern), and the octagonal pattern is often accompanied by stylized flowers. There are two main families of Afghan carpets: Turkmen and Baloch.
Most of the characteristics of the designs of these carpets share with the characteristics of the textile tribes in Central Asia in terms of colors, designs and textiles more than their developed Persian counterparts, and the Persian influence appears above all in the colors: the harmony of red, copper and brown, and they highlight the originality of geometric patterns, and a few flowers, plants and birds Medals.
The most famous Afghan carpets are the Khal Mohammadi and Aqshi Al Afghani carpets. The former is a hand-knotted carpet by the Turkmens of northern Afghanistan. Its colors are shades of dark red in various shades. The patterns resemble an elephant's foot and an eight-sided octagonal shape often accompanied by dark blue flowers. The ocher, beige, and Afghan aqshi rugs are hand-knotted by the Turkmens of central and northern Afghanistan.
The majority of carpets from Afghanistan are handwoven using vegetable dyes (about 27% of Afghan carpets are dyed using local plants and dyes). The size of the carpets ranges from thick to medium carpets, including felted woolen rugs (namad), loosely woven (kilims) and tufted carpets made of wool, silk and cotton.
The Afghan carpets have retained their originality, as the majority of Afghan weavers weave rugs similar to those that they woven decades ago, and their carpets are often woven on small vertical or horizontal looms, where the looms were installed on the floor and on the wall, and they are produced mainly to decorate the tents in which they reside As a testament to the delicate nature of this art, it takes approximately six to nine months to weave large Afghan rugs.
Afghan rugs usually feature a central field of floral or geometric designs, traditionally defined by a design with intricate and detailed borders, however, the themes of the designs, as with any work of art, are closely linked to the lifestyle of the person who composes it, and as a result, For several decades now, Afghan carpets tell of daily life made up of wars, landscapes that have been completely redrawn not only by conflicts, but also by the proliferation of firearms that have come to shape the environment of this country that was once at the heart of the Silk Road.
And the Afghan carpets are woven in more than 30 designs and types, Turkmen, Kazakhstan, Bamiani, Mazari, Aghshah (Aqshi), Jozjani, Chobarang designs, Gulbarghist, Zahir Shahi, Mashwani, Khal Mohammadi, Gul Mori, Chubash, Qarqin, Herati, Balochi, Dotar Gol, Qizil Ayag, Sarooqi, Edraskan, Vas Berkeley, Gul Pelitdar, Tatrang, Khaje Sangheh, Andkhoi, Daulatabadi and Bagcheh Kundzi are among the most famous and beautiful carpets in Afghanistan.
Today, Afghanistan is one of the largest producers of rugs in the world, and the main manufacturing cities are Herat, Kandahar, and Kabul. However, many of these rugs are currently woven by Afghan refugees living in Pakistan or Iran. Between 1979 and 1992, no At least a million Afghans, including hundreds of thousands of carpet weavers, left Afghanistan during the war with the Soviet Union and the ensuing civil war, mainly in Pakistan and Iran.
Afghan war rugs
In just a few decades, Afghan weavers have transformed their work, incorporating military iconography into their tradition. Crafted using centuries-old technique, these contemporary works evoke the history of a war-ravaged country and its technological advancements.
The war pattern on Afghan carpets shows the social dissatisfaction caused by war. From afar, the Afghan war carpet may look like a classic Persian carpet, but upon closer inspection, it reveals its strange and surprising patterns: flowers and animals replaced by fighter planes or tanks, garlands with guns decorating their borders, and The icons of the Afghan war carpet appeared with the arrival of the Soviets in 1979, and as soon as this type of carpet became known, it began to be exported to the West, which became fond of it again, but its trend began to fade in recent years.
Types of Afghan carpets
The two main branches of carpets historically produced in Afghanistan are Turkmen carpets and Balochi carpets. Most Afghan carpets are produced in the northern provinces of this country. Andkhoi in Faryab, Balkh, Kunduz, Samangan and Shaberghan produce most of the Afghan Turkmen carpets. In the southwestern provinces of Kandahar, Nimruz and Farah, it is woven Baloch carpet weavers or Baloch carpet weavers.
Turkmen tribal carpets
The Turkmen tribes are among the nomadic tribes that do not have a written history on their part, and travelers and Arab scholars in the eleventh and twelfth centuries devoted information to writing their history for the first time, as they tried to classify the different Islamic peoples, and the Turkmen tribes were spread in the Turkestan region, which is a non- Certain borders extend from the shores of the Caspian Sea through the countries of the former Soviet Union from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Xinjiang, and it is believed that the Turkmen tribes migrated west from the Altai Mountains in the seventh century, through Siberia.
As early as the 17th century, the Irsari Turkmen began to settle in northern Afghanistan, and with the increasing Russian dominance in the 19th century, other Turkmen tribes migrated to Persia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Turkmen carpets include some of the best known carpet designs such as Bukhara (mostly of the Turkmen Tekke tribe), Yamud, POI yarn, Hatchel, and many more.
It can be said that the Turkmens are the ones who brought with them their unique knowledge to Afghanistan, from neighboring countries, and the Turkmens produce Khal al-Muhammadi carpets, which can be distinguished by the different shades of red and brown, made of wool and goat hair, and are found mainly in Herat, Kandahar and Kabul, where they go Many merchants.
Baloch tribal carpets
Nomadic Baloch tribes are spread throughout Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Like the Turkmen people, the Baluch have no written history. Indo-Aryan sources say that the Baloch tribes may have originated in the Arabian Peninsula itself or near Iran and Iraq. In the tenth century, Arab geographers noted that Baloch tribes settled in southern Persia, and it is also probable that they spread north and south during the Seljuk conquest of Kerman in 1037, and later with the Mongol invasions in the 13th century.
In the nineteenth century, the Baloch tribes were expelled from the Persian region of Sistan (along the borders of modern southern Iran and Afghanistan), north into Afghanistan and Pakistan under a forced migration by the Iranian ruler Nadir Shah.
Baloch carpets borrow designs from a variety of regions and use symmetrical and asymmetrical weaving. They are also woven from woolen fibres. They are mainly manufactured on horizontal transportable looms, and are often small in size (less than 10 feet in length), in order to fit With the mobility conditions of the Baloch tribes.
Types of wool in Afghan carpets
Four types of wool are commonly used in Afghan carpets, and each of these types of wool determines the durability, the number of knots per square inch, and the softness of the carpet. The most common types are Ghazni, Provincial, Merino, and Belgian.
It is a common wool used in Afghan carpets. The wool comes from the Ghazni region, but it is not limited to this region. What distinguishes this wool from other types of wool is the spinning process. After cutting and washing, the wool is spun by hand. Make the yarn thinner by spinning more wool.
Ghazni wool Afghan rugs are durable, beautiful, and have a unique look, but their surface is not as smooth as other wool rugs, and since the yarn is also handmade, the rug does not have many knots.
Merino wool, also known as Pakistani Merino wool, is a type of wool commonly used in Afghani carpets, Merino wool yarn is machine spun, so it absorbs all colours, Merino wool goes through a unique process to make it soft and shiny, but it does not have the same durability as Ghazni wool.
Kunar is one of the mountainous and forested provinces in eastern Afghanistan and has been a trading center for jewelry, wool and agricultural products since the 9th century AD. The wool of this province is of high quality and is used in Afghan carpets.
Belgian wool is a high-quality wool imported from Belgium to Afghanistan. This wool has four important characteristics in carpet yarns: softness, luster, lightness, and durability. It also allows craftsmen to weave carpets with a large number of knots per square inch, which increases the quality of the carpet.
In recent years, the use of this wool in handwoven carpets has become popular in Afghanistan, which is why Belgian wool carpets are the most expensive.
Indian carpets, carpets from the country of the Maharaja
India is located in the continent of Asia from the south, which occupies most of the Indian subcontinent, and its capital is New Delhi, which is a huge country with diverse landscapes, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the coast of the Indian Ocean, and its history dates back to 5 thousand years.
India is the second largest country in terms of population and the seventh largest country in the world, and the Indian coastline extends for more than seven thousand kilometers, and the country has common borders with Pakistan to the northwest, China to the north, east and northeast, Nepal to the northeast, and Bhutan, Bangladesh and Burma to the east And the northeast, on the Indian Ocean, India borders the Maldives from the southwest, Sri Lanka from the south, and Indonesia from the southeast, and India also claims a border with Afghanistan in the northwest, and India has nuclear weapons since 1974 after conducting official tests.
Today, India is considered one of the most important producers of hand-woven carpets in the world due to its ability to produce raw materials for weaving carpets, as well as people's interest in these handicrafts in terms of the quantity and quality of hand-woven carpet production.
The designs and graphics used in Indian carpets have been strongly influenced by the culture of Persian designs, so that nearly two-thirds of the designs are copied from Persian examples such as Saruq, Kashan, Hamedan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Birjand, Kerman, and even Qashqai designs with complete precision and skill. In addition to Persian designs, Indian weavers also use Chinese designs. Pakistani, Turkmen, French, Moroccan and Egyptian, and the Indians have a good talent in combining different designs in many of their carpets, in addition to using foreign designs from local designs covered with flowers, plants and mythical animals, they produce a lot. The Persian designs woven in these countries are offered in the world market under the name: Isfahan carpets India, Kashan carpets India, Bijar carpets India, Kerman carpets India, etc. The main designs woven in India are: Mehrabi, Beit Meri, Drikari.
History of Indian Carpets
The manufacture and spread of carpets in India is attested only after the final establishment of the Mughal sultanate in India, before the 16th century, and before that thick, patterned tapestries called Numda or flat cloths called Durri were used in India.
In the year 1544, the second Mughal emperor, Naseer al-Din Humayun, was forced to take refuge in the Persian court of Shah Tahmasp in the tenth century AH. and Ardabil, the prestigious centers of carpet-making. After his return to India, according to tradition, he had rejected the carpets presented as gifts by Shah Tahmasp, and instead asked painters and masters to establish factories in his country similar to Persia.
Humayun, the famous patron of Indian carpets, welcomed Persian designers such as Syed Ali and Dast Muhammad to his court. Thus, the basis of handwoven Indian carpets was formed from the end of the 16th century under the influence of Persian culture and art, although the Indian craftsmen were familiar with the techniques of Kashmir shawl weaving and the techniques of The textile industry Before getting to know Persian carpets, great progress was made in the production of textiles, but the arrival of Persian carpets with unique designs and plans changed the art of decoration in their textiles, and for a long time, these textiles were known as Iranian weaving or Iranian design.
On Hamyun's death, and at the beginning of the seventeenth century, it was his successor, Jalaluddin Akbar, who gave life to the Mughal style, and built a new capital at Fatehpur Sikri, which he built with splendid carpeted palaces, and at Lahore, which is now part of Pakistan, and continued by his son Jahangir. (1605-1628) patronizing this art, was a keen naturalist, and encouraged the development of the Mughal naturalistic style in carpets, through realistic representations of flowers and fruits, and miniatures from the time of Jahangir and Shah Jahan (1628-1658) show luxurious carpets laid on the floors of palaces and gardens.
The reign of Aurangzeb 1658-1707 was marked by great austerity, which also affected the art of carpets in India, and after the overthrow of Delhi by the forces of Nader Shah, King of Persia in 1739, the imperial court was the least influential and the most generous and willing to protect artists, and the court's patronage of the art of making carpets ended carpet suddenly.
The local maharajas and English merchants became the main customers of the Mughal carpet factories, and the production lost its elegance and richness, bearing more rustic characteristics, and carpets shifted strongly towards export, however, until the first half of the nineteenth century, the quality remained unchanged, and many carpets were produced The large one is decorated with elegant floral motifs.
In the second half of the century, quality gradually deteriorated after heavy commercialization characterized by mechanically woven threads, the introduction of artificial colours, the installation of weaving workshops in prisons , and the use of prisoners as weavers.
Modern carpets are produced on designs quite alien to Indian traditions in the Mughal period, and to standards dictated by market demands, but still appreciated in the western market of the classical class, though stereotyped from Persian models, and, at present, in India, There are still a few carpet mills located mainly in Rajasthan in the city of Jaipur
Indian carpet designs
The coordination of the Bete Miri pattern with the Lach and Tanger designs and the right combination of colors gave the Persian rug a special charm and beauty, and this design and color, which has become popular among the weavers of the central province of Persia since the last century and has maintained its artistic and economic position in the world market, especially the American market , and produced by Indian weavers with utmost precision and perfection, valuable traditional Persian designs such as this example were frequently copied in India.
Indians have used the flowers of Shah Abbas in the background with a larger size and more petals, and filling flower and plant designs is one of the very popular methods among Indian designers.
Indian thousand flower rugs
Thousand flower designs were known in Europe, especially in the weaving of Flemish textiles, and this term is also used to describe North Indian carpets, which date back to the late Mughal era in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and these carpets contain large numbers of small flowers in repeating units, They often spring unrealistically from long, twisted stems, or are arranged geometrically in panicles or recurring panicles, and in this fundamentally differ from the irregular whole plant pattern of European textiles, and are often more akin to arabesque patterns, and the flowers emerging from the stem may be the same They are of very different colors and types, and there are two main groups, one which is directional and is likely to show whole plants, and one which is non-directional and often shows only stems and flowers.
The Thousand Flowers carpet, which was used in Kashmir and Pakistan as well, reflected a mixture of European influence and Mughal-Persian decorative traditions, and became a trend in the realm of more subtle small design elements. The Thousand Flowers pattern was later adopted by Persian carpet weavers until around 1900. Especially in a prayer rug. 1
Types of handmade Indian carpets
Indian rugs are categorized according to each region and almost every rug is named after the same region:
It is one of the Indian carpets woven in the Agra region, and its designs include green spaces, flowers, animals, and people. Agra carpets are very strong, and therefore suitable for high-traffic areas. Blue, red, purple, and even gold colors are mostly used in Agra carpets.
The Amritsar carpet was woven for the first time in a region not far from Kashmir, specifically in Amritsar, and the colors used in this type of carpet are often red, green, blue, brown and orange, and bright colors are not used in the weaving of the carpet, and the Amritsar carpet is woven from soft and thick wool and cotton It is highly durable due to the use of these raw materials.
As mentioned earlier, red is the background color of the Indian rug, and the Indian rug with ivory background was woven and designed by masters long ago and used bright threads on a dull background. Flowers, animals, and hunting scenes on a light background. This type of carpet weaving reached its peak in the fifteenth century AD.
Needlepoint rugs (suzani)
In addition to India, this type of carpet has spread especially in countries such as Iran, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Brides weave Suzani carpets to show their skills in carpet weaving. The art of needlework is very valuable and elements such as flowers, fruits, trees, birds, and animals are woven into it. In India, the hand knitting method and a tool called the hook are used.
Kashmir carpets, Indian silk
Kashmir is a mountainous region located in Asia, in the north of the Indian subcontinent, in the north of India and Pakistan and in the far west of China, and bordered by Afghanistan to the north.
Since the outbreak of the First Indo-Pakistani War in 1947, Kashmir has been de facto shared between India, Pakistan and China administering the territories of Jammu and Kashmir for India, the territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan for Pakistan, as well as the Aksai Chin region and the Chaksgam Valley for China, and claiming Pakistan as the state of Jammu and Kashmir that it controls India.
Indian silk Kashmiri carpets are made in the Kashmir region, which is famous for silk and precious stones. The Indian part of the disputed territory was famous for producing wonderful silk carpets, which were known all over the world for their finesse and beauty. These luxurious carpets became famous because they are made of very fine silk threads.
History of Kashmiri Carpets
Shah Badshahs established factories in Kashmir, known as Karkhanas in the local Kashmiri language, which led to the flourishing of the carpet weaving industry in the Kashmir Valley, but after the Shah Badshah period, there was a great decline in this field, which was later revived during the rule of Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor .
The history of the heyday of Kashmiri carpets dates back to the 16th century, when the Mughal emperors came to Kashmir. The region of Kashmir is known for its cold winters. The conversion of cold stone palaces into warmer and more livable places was a necessity. Thus, the Mughal emperors brought with them court carpet weavers to the region. Kashmir, some of them were Persian carpet weavers, Persian carpet weaving families settled in Kashmir and Kashmiri carpet production started. Since the production of Kashmir carpets originated from the hands of Persian carpet weavers, most of the designs of Kashmir carpets are unmistakably similar to Persian carpets but with some local differences.
The mid-18th century saw an unexpected growth in the rug industry, with an increase in the quality and quantity of Kashmir rugs. Today, cashmere rugs are known for their unique design and quality, and cashmere rug manufacturers offer some of the best silk rugs in the world.
Since the 1950s, several steps have been taken to expand the carpet trade in Jammu and Kashmir. Initially, carpet weaving was dominated by men, but nowadays, even women have entered this field. Kashmiri shawl weavers and designers, who mostly live in In rural areas of the state, to improve their skills, the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) has established eight centers in different parts of Kashmir to train carpet weavers.
Kashmiri carpet designs
Handwoven Kashmiri rugs are popular not only in India but all over the world. The Kashmiri rugs or carpets are characterized by intricate designs, mostly oriental and floral, and come in a wide range of colours, sizes and characteristics. The Kashmiri rugs are woven mainly in Kashmir and its neighboring villages .
Cashmere rugs are made of fine wool, which is harvested from some types of goats, and silk is imported from China, and to make these rugs, Persian knots are used, and cashmere carpet fibers consist of a mixture of very thin and very short wool and silk threads, on these carpets, we often find Soft colors with very subtle bands of soft pink, light beige, ivory, yellow, sky blue, ruby red, emerald green, aquamarine and amethyst, the meanings used in Kashmiri rugs have many different meanings, for example green is the favorite color of Muslims and is often used in prayer rugs On the other hand, the red color represents positive virtues such as joy and cheerfulness, while the indigo blue represents loneliness..and so on.
Kashmiri carpets initially adopted weaving techniques typical of oriental carpets. Over time, Kashmiri craftsmen improvised and created new local designs and motifs in the industry. The finest Kashmiri silk carpets began to take on the distinctive designs of old shawls, sometimes with boteh motifs. Some carpets consist of a central medallion. In the center are scattered flowers, floral motifs, geometric shapes, or patterns inspired by Buddhism and its mythology and depictions of their deities, with sacred text in Sanskrit serving as the borders of the rug.
Some of the common motifs used in Kashmiri carpet designs are:
- Gulabdar: Kashmiri rose is depicted in this design.
- Lotus: The Kashmiri carpets that use this design have lotus flowers as motifs or motifs inspired by the lotus flower.
- Gardener: This design in the Kashmiri rug depicts gardens.
- Tree of Life: This design in a cashmere rug includes a beautiful tree with birds.
- Gum: The Kashmiri carpet in this design has snake motifs.
Each pattern in the design of Kashmiri carpets has a special sign and meaning, for example, the parrot pattern in the Kashmiri carpet indicates life, the bird pattern means fertility and a good harvest, and trees such as: palm trees, pear trees, and pomegranate trees in Kashmiri carpets represent blessings, and roses in Kashmiri carpets are a sign of prosperity, animal motifs such as camels represent wealth and happiness, lion motifs represent loyalty, warlike animal motifs on Kashmiri carpets symbolize the eternal struggle between good and evil, and the peacock is the national bird of India and symbolizes royalty.
Kashmiri carpet weaving steps
Kashmiri carpets are the result of collective efforts of people bearing the names, the designer (Nakash), the dyer (called Ranger), the weaver (called Kalimba) and finally the trader who introduces it to the market.
The first step in carpet weaving is the “talim” (design) in which motifs and colors are chosen. Talim is a written code that must be followed by the weavers and recited by the master weaver and assistant weavers. In the next step, the thread is sent for dyeing and the dyed thread is left to dry and be exposed to air and sunlight. The sun, then, the design and the threads are given to the weaver, who turns the design into reality with his elegance and expertise.
A quality cashmere rug must be hand-woven from pure wool. This means that both the warp and the warp are pure silk. A low-quality cashmere rug can be woven from a mixture of wool, rayon, and silk. Cashmere rugs can be classified as follows based on the materials used to weave them:
- Basic rugs: They are shiny and woven using rayon or commercial cotton, which is not pure silk but has its own softness.
- Silk Silk Carpet: In this carpet, silk yarns are used for the warp and weft, and 100% silk is used without any other material mixed with it.
- Silk on Cotton Carpet: In this carpet, silk threads are used for the weft and cotton threads for the warp, therefore, its texture is a mixture of silk and cotton.
- Woolen carpets: They are woven by hand using pure wool yarns for the weft and warp.
Knots in Kashmiri carpets
The quality of Kashmir rugs usually ranges between 600 to 900 knots per square inch, and the higher the number of knots per square inch, the higher the quality, durability and value of the Kashmiri rug. It takes a long time, the price of the carpet reaches 8 thousand dollars, and this figure is not strange.
The most important aspect in determining the quality and value of a cashmere carpet as well, in addition to the number of knots it contains, is the quality of the carpet fibers and also its weave. The cashmere silk carpet is usually woven with mulberry silk and its quality is tested. Many countries use silk in carpet weaving; But Kashmiri weavers use long knots, currently, up to 2500 knots per square inch of Kashmiri carpets are woven, which is one of the highest knots per square inch in the carpet weaving industry in the world. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image.
Kashmiri carpets are a unique investment, as you can use them for at least 30 years without any complaint, so Kashmiri carpets have always remained highly valued, but today, due to the fact that craftsmen use more compound cotton in carpet weaving, the quality and prices have gone down to an extent. What.
Kashmiri carpet weaving techniques
The loom used in weaving Kashmiri carpets consists of horizontal wooden beams, and the twisted threads are stretched between them, one in front of the weaver and the second beam behind the first beam. This is usually called a knot, although it is more of a loop than a true knot.
There are different types of knots, and in Kashmir, the Persian weave and the Persian system known as Sehne or Sine Garh originally, are used to tie these knots, and very simple tools are used, such as: a wooden or metal comb to press the knots and weave them tightly together and short scissors to cut the piles The carpet, and after that is done, it is placed in a uniform row.
The most beautiful cashmere carpets come from the workshops of Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-controlled Kashmir region, where their production is abundant to meet the requirements of tourism and western markets. Exotic and interesting combinations of classic colors inspired by the cultural world of Kashmir.
Garden design, paradise carpet
It is one of the most famous Persian carpet patterns. It refers to the depiction of a garden filled with flowers, trees, and other plants, often with a central fountain, beautiful birds, winged animals, and other creative designs. Experts believe that this pattern can be considered a reflection of the passion and inclination towards flowers, plants, and gardens in the hot and dry environment of Persia.
The history of the garden design rug
Going back to the history of this famous pattern, some similar designs are found in the historical and famous carpets of Baharestan which is evidence of the existence of this design in ancient times.
Al-Tabari mentioned in the opening chapter of Al-Madaen: About this carpet: “There was a carpet in the treasury, a carpet, three hundred flowers high and sixty flowers wide, and its name was a winter carpet, and the non-Arab kings used it in the winter and they sat on it when there were no flowers in the world, whenever you look To it, you would think it was a garden or a field, and within it were all the jewels, and plants in all colors, and within it you would find roses and asparagus.”
The garden design soon became especially popular during the Safavid period, and the few remaining available carpets of this design, belong to the eleventh century (or a little earlier) and the rest to the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, and the pattern of this carpet gained worldwide fame, and descends A group of these rare carpets are hosted in various museums in the world such as Victoria and Albert in London, fine arts in Vienna, Pennsylvania in America, Jaipur in India, Krakow in Poland, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, the National Museum of Iran, the Carpet Museum in Tehran, and in Museum of scenery, private collections.
garden rug design
The presence of a stream or stream in the middle of garden carpets is the main feature of these carpets, which is an ancient design and geometric basis for the layout of Persian gardens and originated from the ancient ideas of the peoples of Asia, where the middle of the carpet is divided into 6 or 4 parts, and fish shapes are usually designed inside these corridors Aquatic, trees and plants can also be seen within each part, which evokes scenes of the general atmosphere of the actual garden.
According to this idea, the universe is divided into four parts and four great rivers separated them from each other. This proves that the patterns of Persian carpets have a special message, symbolism and meaning.
The symbolic meaning of garden rug design
The garden symbolizes the separation between heaven and earth, and the "garden" in Islamic culture represents "heaven", one of the manifestations of the supreme world. Persian gardens have always occupied a special place in the culture and history of this country, and were of interest to previous kings in terms of architecture. Wealthy people have gardens of paradise in their luxurious palaces, and in places of worship as a symbol of the nature of their lives. Accordingly, many gardens were built in Persia with this design. In addition, carpets were woven in different regions of Persia during the Safavid period, which had a design A garden, and Kerman was one of those areas. The design of the garden was one of the most famous designs of Kerman carpets in the Safavid era.
The spread of the garden design in the oriental carpets coincided with the spread of the religion of Islam, and the Muslim conquerors adopted the designs of the four gardens, as they considered it to represent the paradise mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. In other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism
The most famous garden design rugs in world museums
The following are the most important and famous examples of the garden design carpet, which are now preserved in various international museums and private collections:
- In the Garden Carpet of the Pennsylvania Museum, the four parts of the garden are separated by a creek and in each part, patterns of trees and flowers can be seen.
- The carpet in the Jaipur Museum in India was woven in the early eleventh century or a little earlier, on the outskirts of Isfahan, and is inspired by the gardens of Shah Abbas. This carpet was among the tomb carpets of Sheikh Safieddin Ardabili and was brought as a wonderful gift to the Amber Palace In the Maharaja of Jaipur, it has a pattern of colorful flowers, streams with floating fish and birds that sit on tree branches or fly.
- As for the carpet in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, it is half a carpet with a garden, exotic designs, and smaller patterns than usual, and the other half is preserved in a church in Krakow, Poland.
- The rustic garden carpet in the Vienna Museum is probably the oldest carpet with a garden design, which was woven by weavers in northwest Iran, divided into six parts by streams full of fish.
As for the two carpets in the Iranian National Museum, one of them has a green turquoise background and patterns of cypress trees and flower bushes, and they are from the carpet collection that belongs to the tomb of Shah Abbas and the weaver Nematullah Joshghani, whose name appears in the tapestry of the carpet, and the other is from the tomb of Sheikh Safieddin Ardabili, Silky rug with a light green background and measures 2.27 by 6 feet.
Today, carpet weaving with garden motifs is out of vogue and old patterns are rare.
Carpet lovers have always shown a desire to use woven carpets in their homes and have tried to add more beauty and warmth to their spaces using this unique art. There are different types of carpet styles, of which we have mentioned the most important ones, the charming 17th century carpets, the stunning silk Kashmiri carpets, and the realistic garden design Beautiful, authentic Afghan carpets, and ancient geometric carpets... Knowing all these patterns and their characteristics may help in making the right decision when buying.
In this detailed guide, we have tried to introduce you to the most beautiful and ancient patterns of this original art by presenting the best patterns and characteristics of carpets. We hope that the article has taken your hand to understand these wonderful artistic styles, so that you can choose from them what you like for your home spaces.