The Han dynasty, the second imperial dynasty in China, brought a lot of development that made China a global power, and it was one of the most important aspects of development in that period. The establishment of trade routes between China and the Middle East, which would later be known as the “Silk Road”, which played a pivotal role in spreading the wonderful art of Oriental and Persian carpets throughout the world.
The Silk Road offers new trade routes and new opportunities
Because of the mighty mountain ranges, and the difficulty of transporting goods outside its lands, Asia was somewhat isolated from the world before the Han dynasty came to power, and the Silk Road began as a series of trade routes linking China with the Middle East, and it gave that launch to trade in both directions and allowed the exchange of trade Between these two regions, which were completely isolated from the outside world.
Silk Road rugs
Another reason associated with the need to develop trade routes is China's need to protect its trade, and the construction of the Great Wall of China for this exact reason. Therefore, the development and protection of trade routes has become one of the most important reasons for economic development in Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Europe, China and the Horn of Africa. and Arabia.
Thanks to the establishment of trade routes, people in the two regions were able to enjoy products and goods that were not possible to obtain before, and spices, silk, precious stones, raw minerals, and certainly carpets and rugs were among the most important commodities that were traded, and those opportunities were important not only for merchants, but also for customers Those who enjoyed a new lifestyle allowed them to expand their use beyond the commodities available at the local level, and new products became desirable, and often even a sign of luxury and wealth.
On the other hand, the Silk Road opened opportunities for the lower classes to expand as well, by producing and selling more of their products in a wider global market. We can liken this to the way the Internet allowed small companies in this era to expand in global markets, through the development of communication networks and sales through The Internet, and that had the same effect that we see today in the expanded globalization that is happening before us.
Silk Road map
The Silk Road opened up opportunities for carpet weaving centers in Persia
The Silk Road witnessed a wide activity by the fifteenth century AD, as caravans of merchants were constantly moving to barter and exchange goods, and during the sixteenth century the Persian rulers of the Safavid dynasty were determined to increase their wealth and the level of exporting their goods to the rest of the world.
Carpets and rugs produced by small Persian villages and towns were an item of real value on both sides of the Silk Road, and Persia was in the middle of the roads, and goods exchanged in both directions often passed through this region, and it was the responsibility of the Safavid rulers for the expansion of arts and wealth The Persian Empire, so they hired the best craftsmen to start designing carpets and exporting them to spread their art and legacy to the world, and so Persian designers and weavers produced exquisite works that were used in public buildings and palaces, and carpets became a highly sought after commodity among the wealthy and were often given as gifts in diplomatic relations.
From here the exquisite Persian carpets found their way to the castles, cathedrals and wealthy European farms, and these weavers were asked to establish schools and pass on these designs to the young village weavers.
The Silk Road gave carpet makers the opportunity to have an easy distribution channel for all the carpets they could produce, and this resulted in the establishment of schools and production centers in cities such as Tabriz, Isfahan, Kerman, and many other non-Persian textile centers, which were located near the Silk Road, such as Khotan carpets. In East Turkestan, this marked the beginning of the golden age of the Safavid dynasty and the golden age of the Persian carpet industry.
The importance of the Silk Road
The Silk Road was not known by this name before, and for its pioneers it was just a series of trade routes. However, the official use of the name appeared in 1877 from the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen, who undertook seven expeditions along the way from 1868 to 1872. This particular name was used because silk was one of the main commodities traded along the route.
The ability to produce goods and export them to distant lands helped develop economic development along the way, and also allowed artisans to develop their creativity, because they obtained important and different materials, such as silk, lint, wool, cotton, and carpet dyes that were not available locally, and that expansion also meant the development of exchange culture, and the ability to learn and acquire completely new techniques and skills, although Persian carpet centers often need to protect technologies and trade secrets.
With regard to the history of carpets, the launch of the Silk Road can be considered the most important historical event for the industry, which contributed to the emergence of an extraordinary variety of luxurious carpets that we know today, with a rich variety of amazing patterns and colors that characterize the oriental and Persian carpets that you can find anywhere in the world. Almost style and flair, and that took off with the Silk Road trade routes starting nearly 2,000 years ago.
Translated by: nazmiyalantiquerugs.com