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Bijan's Oriental Rug Gallery

Bijan’s Oriental Rugs
Hand-made Oriental Rugs, selected with care and sold with Integrity.

Oriental Rugs - A buyer’s Guide

Oriental Rugs Weaving Groups

  • Tabriz
    Country: Persia (Iran)
    Category:  Workshop and masterworkshop
    Price range: Low/medium to wealth
  • General details:
    Made in and around the town of Tabriz in Azerbaijan district of northwest Persia, they represent the most variable Persian workshop rugs produced today. At their best they are as fine and aesthetically satisfying as the most accomplished Isphahan or Kashan; at their worst they can be as coarsely knotted and clumsily composed as an undistinguished village rug.
    Tabriz rugs are usually woven on cotton foundations (although silk is sometimes used for the finest weaves), with between 80 and 400 Turkish knots per square inch.  The local maku wool is very strong, if a little coarse. making the better quality rugs sturdy and hard wearing.  The pile may be trimmed either short or medium/long, but as a general rule the shorter the pile, the better and more finely knotted the rug.
    The design repertoire is arguably the most diverse and innovative in the whole of Persia, and include interpretations of almost every Persian and universal design; but medallion, pictorial, garden, hunting, allover floral, Shah Abbas, boteh and Herati schemes are the most common.  In addition, Tabriz weavers have consistently evolved designs to which they have given their name (Taba Tabai, Nezam, Hajji Jalili and Hadi Ali,, etc.).  The palette is equally varied, and, depending on the market for which the rugs are destined, can be either extremely rich and vivid or more retrained in tones.
    Among contemporary Tabriz master weavers, Pour Nami is considered the finest and most influential; the masterworkshops of Sultani, Imadzadi, Nezam, Tayeh Nedjad, Shasavar Pour, Gharabaghi, Djafari, Baharestan and Mohammedi also produce rugs of exceptional note.  Tabriz masterworkshop rugs are sometimes made entirely in silk, but more often employ woolen piles, which may be accentuated with silk or a combination of metallic thread and silk.  Both workshop and masterworkshop rugs are made in the widest possible range of sizes.
    Today some of the Tabriz finest rugs are copied by Pakistani weavers in finely woven antique recreated natural vegetable dyed rugs.
  • Resale value:
    The finest quality Tabriz rugs are extremely sound investments, but the resale potential of the lower grades is less assured. You are unlikely to lose money on any Tabriz rug unless you were overcharged on your initial purchase.
  • Yagcibeir
    Country: Anatolia (Turkey)
    Category:  Village
    Price range: Low
  • General details:
    These extremely attractive rugs are made in the Sindirgi area of north west Anatolia, where they are woven in the traditinal manner on a woolen foundation in good quality, close cropped wool. Yagcibedir designs are invariably based on an elongated hexagonal “skeletal” medallion, with stepped edges at either end, decorated with combinations of stars, large stylized birds or geometrically abstracted leaf and plant forms. The colors are usually madder red and deep rose set against a dark blue field, but occasionally blue or brown motifs may be found in conjunction with a white field. Some rugs, particularly runners, are composed in an allover arrangement of stylized vegetal forms, and in recent years a number of attractive rugs have been produced in traditional Caucasian colors and designs.
  • Resale value:
    One of the better buys among contemporary village rugs.  They are inexpensive, well made in good quality wool, and possess a distinct rustic charm that often increase with age. They are not traditionally noted for their investment potential, but the better examples may become more collectable in the future.
  • Abadeh
    Extremely attractive, hard wearing rugs made in the village of Abadeh in southern Persia, near the town of Shiraz. They are not among the most finely knotted Persian rugs, but the knotting is very regular and, combined with the normally good quality wool, results in rugs of considerable durability and aesthetic merit. They are noted for their use of the Zel-i-Sultan design; most other compositions are borrowed from the Ghashghai nomads, who have traditionally pitched their tent near Abadeh during the summer months.  Color schemes nearly always employ deep reds and blues with hints of ochres, a perfect tonal accompaniment to the simplicity of their designs. Considered good buys, because of their intrinsic qualities and the fact that they retain their value to a reasonably high degree.
  • Agra
    City in northern India producing reasonably good quality rugs in a range of mainly Persian designs, very similar to those made in the nearby town of jaipur.  The standard of Agra rugs is rather more varied, depending on whether local or Australian wool has been used. They are also produced in French and Chinese inspired schemes.
  • Amritsar
    Major weaving center in Punjab, generally accepted as second only to Kashmir in terms of quality.
  • Arak
    Made in and around the city of Arak, formerly Sultanabad, in west central Persia, Arak rugs are much more coarsely knotted than the rugs of their illustrious neighbors, Sarough.  Their designs are quite similar, although rather more crudely executed, with a preference for bold floral medallions set against open fields.  Although not particularly durable, they can represent quite good value for money.  The average and poorer quality rugs are often referred to as Mahal rugs.
  • Assadabad
    Village in the Hamadan district of Persia which produces fairly coarsely woven, but quite sturdy rugs in broadly geometric designs.  Unlike most Hamadan village group, the Assadabad weavers show a preference for repeating schemes, including a bold and widely spaced interpretation of the allover Herati.
  • Basmakci
    Town in western Anatolia, whose rugs are among the best and most attractive village quality rugs produced in the country.  Basmakci weavers specialize in a wide range of traditional designs from other Anatolian weaving froups, Bergama, Ushak, Ghiordes, etc., in addition to some Caucasian inspired schemes. They are quite finely knotted on woolen warps, using good quality pile wool, and their decorative schemes are normally well balanced and cleanly articulated. Colors tend to be more vivid than those of most other western Anatolian groups, but are generally very harmonious and attractive.  Made in a wide range of sizes and moderately priced, they are usually in a slightly higher price bracket than Dobag.
  • Bergama
    Town on the west coast of Anatolia which produces attractive rugs in both the sun washed and traditional (richer) color schemes. Designs may be either Caucasian, and resemble Kars, or more classically Anatolian, as in Milas and Dosenmealti, and are comparable in quality to those groups. Some Bergama rugs are marketed as Kozaks.
  • Birjand
    Town in the Khorassan province of Persia which specializes in fine quality Herati design rugs, usually with a skeletal medallion, in a palette dominated by creams and ochres.  It also produces some other traditional Persian designs.  Generally considered the best rugs made in Khorassan, although quality varies; those made in town itself are usually better than those from the surrounding villages.
  • Bowanat
    Village in the Khorassan province of Persia, which acts as a marketing center for rugs woven by Arab tribesmen in the region.  Similar to appearance to Ghashghai rugs but of inferior quality, they are normally marketed as Bowanat rugs.
  • Cannakkale
    Anatolian village rugs similar to Kars, although slightly less bold and heraldic in design.
  • Chelaberd
    High quality rugs from the Caucasian village of Chelabi, in the Karabagh region of former Russian republic of Azerbaijan, which are no longer made. The Chelaberd design, more commonly referred to as the “Eagle” Kazak, is still used in contemporary Russian and Anatolian rugs.
  • Chichi
    Small village in the Kuba region of Caucasus noted for its extremely attractive rugs (no longer made), which were decorated with samll polygons in an allover format and possessed a distinctive border arrangement consisting of alternating rosttes and slanting bands.  The famous Chichi border may be found on some Persian, Anatolian and contemporary Caucasian rugs.
  • Chodor
    Woven by the Turkoman tribe of that name whose individual identity has largely submerged by the other Turkoman groups in Afghanistan..  Their rugs are excellent quality, and usually feature either a Hatchli, hadklu, or traditional gul design.
  • Derbend
    Capital of Daghestan region of the Caucasus, which used to produce attractive and well made rugs (although of a lower standard than most other Caucasian groups). Contemporary Derbands rugs represent a quality, rather than a specific group, of Caucasian workshop rugs.
  • Dorukhsh
    Small village in Khorassan province of Persia which produces similar, but inferior, rugs to those made in the neighboring village of Birjand.
  • Erivan
    Made in Erivan district of Caucasus by mainly Armenian weavers.  They are no longer produced but Erivan designs are still used in contemporary Caucasian rugs.
  • Ersari
    The main rug making tribe in Afghanistan
  • Ezineh
    Anatolian village which produces simple geometric design rugs, very similar to Yagcibedir rugs but of poorer quality.
  • Ferahan
    District in the Arak region of west central Persia whose rugs were arguably the finest and most renowned rugs made during the 19th century.  The name was synonymous with the Herati composition, due to its weavers’ absolute mastery of this scheme, and some dealers still refer to the Herati as the Ferahan design. The best Ferahan rugs were made in the village of Mushkabad, which was sacked by fath ALi Shah shortly before the turn of the century.  A handful of these old style Ferahans are now made in the villages of Ibrahimabad and Farmahin, although they are of poorer quality than the original rugs. A few older Ferahan rugs (or Ferahan Malayer rugs, as they are often caaled) are still in circulation, but they are extremely expensive and rare.
  • Gebbeh
    Made by nomadic and semi nomadic tribesmen in the Fars province of southern Persia, they are among the most primitive of all Persian tribal rugs.  However, the wool is of good quality and the best rugs possess an undoubted rustic charm. Their compositions, which show a distinct Luri influence, are usually simplified versions of Ghashghai pole medallion design. They may be dyed in the traditional nomadic palette of blues and reds, or use different shades of natural wool.  More finely woven Gebbeh style rugs, as known Shulis, are produced in a number of villages in the region, but often lack the character of the nomadic originals; while being decoratively pleasing, they have little or no collectable appeal.  The easiest way to distinguish nomadic from village rugs is to examine the foundation: nomadic Gebbehs use wool and goat’s hair, whereas Shukis use cotton. Both types are among the cheapest Persian rugs.
  • Ghiordes
    Town in western Anatolia which gives its name to the Turkish knot and is one of the country’s weaving centers, traditionally noted for its exquisite prayer rugs.  In recent years the design repertoire has broadened to embrace other Anatolian and Persian designs. Generally considered to be better than average examples of Anatolian weaving.
  • Gogarjin
    Kurdish village near Bidjar in western Persia which produces poorer, but nevertheless quite good quality, Bidjar type rugs.
  • Haftmeribad
    Attractive Belouch rugs usually produced in a distinctive design, consisting of inwardly decorated vertical linear borders with some echoing horizontal motifs, similar to the Hatchli design. Penumbral oranges and browns predominate, while blues and other colors are sometimes found.  The quality varies, but the better rugs are very good value for money.

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