Persian carpet weaving, in modern day Iran, has long been known for its exquisitely beautiful and sumptuous handmade carpets. Carpet weaving in Persian is so deeply ingrained in the culture and traditions of this ancient land that Iranian rug weavers have elevated it into an art form using a wonderful mix of colors and patterns.
Although Persian carpet weaving take place made all over Iran today, the major Persian rug weaving centers include Tabriz, Heriz, Kerman, Sarouk and Sultanabad.
Tabriz is a city with a long and colorful history. Once the capital of a succession of khanates, including the Safavid Iranian Empire; it is now the capital of East Azerbaijan Province of Iran. To carpet and rug lovers, its significance lies in the fact that it is one of the oldest rug weaving centers in the Middle East. While the period between the 12th and the 16th century is considered the golden age of rug weaving in Tabriz, the city is still an important center for rug weaving and a huge variety of antique carpets and rugs are made here.
Heriz is a city in the East Azerbaijan Province of Iran, situated not very far from the city of Tabriz. This small city is well known for rugs and carpets made of tough and durable wool of the finest quality. The wool’s toughness is attributed to the fact that the city sits on a major deposit of copper on the slope of Mount Sabalan. Traces of copper found in the drinking water of the area makes the local sheep’s wool tougher than wool found in other areas. Because they are so tough and mostly come in larger rug sizes, Heriz rugs are suitable for dining rooms and hallways.
Kerman, once the capital of Iran and currently the capital of the Kerman Province of Iran, is the largest and the most important city in southeastern Iran. Boasting a long and colorful history, the city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. The city has been a major center for high quality carpets for several centuries. Among antique carpets, Kerman carpets are considered to be among the finest. They are highly prized by collectors for their beautiful designs, broad pallet, use of natural fibers and dyes, impressive tensile strength and abrasion resistance, and expert color combination.
Sarouk, also spelled as Sarouk or Saruq, is a town in Markazi Province in northwestern Iran. The town and the nearby city of Arak, along with the surrounding rural areas (together known as the Arak weaving district), are famous for the Sarouk carpets, which are made of tough and durable high quality wool.
Sarouk rugs are considered among the finest in the world. American customers of the 20th century were so enamored by the curvilinear and floral design of these rugs that America has its own version of Sarouk rugs. Today, the finest Sarouk rugs come from a small town called Ghiassabad.