Persian rugs are rugs that originated from Iran. This type of rug got its name from Persia, which is the former name of Iran. Persian rugs are a type of Oriental rugs and are one of the most popular types of rugs out there.
Authentic Persian rugs are made by skilled artisans, by hand-weaving or hand-knotting top-quality fibers to make beautiful and intricate designs and patterns.
Here are the materials used to make Persian rugs:
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Most authentic Persian rugs are made from wool. This is the most preferred material because it is very durable, yet soft and warm.
Wool is one of the most readily available materials in Iran that is used for rug making. Iran’s topography makes it easy for them to produce high-quality wool. Most Persian rugs made of wool use high-quality wool from sheep.
Some rug makers also use wool that is imported from New Zealand and Australia, as these countries are also known for producing wool with fine quality.
It is important to note that not all wool is equal. The quality of wool varies and it is highly dependent on the diet of the sheep and its living conditions or environment.
Furthermore, wool derived from a single sheep can also vary in terms of quality depending on which body part of the sheep it came from.
For example, the wool on the belly of a sheep is softer than the wool on its back. This is because the wool derived from the belly has not been affected by environmental elements, like wind and dirt.
Some rug makers also use wool derived from goats but in limited quantities. This type of animal fiber can add an extra sheen to Persian rugs. However, dyeing them can be difficult and they fade faster compared to sheep wool.
The best wool that you can use for high-quality Persian rugs is obtained from the first shearing of lambs that are roughly 9 to 14 months old.
This wool is taken from the under the arms and from the neck of these young lambs. This type of wool is called Kurk.
Cotton is another commonly used material to make Persian rugs. While cotton is typically cheap, rug makers still use them to make luxurious Persian rugs for design purposes.
Cotton was initially used to place white details on the rug, to add some color and variety in texture. This is still being done nowadays.
They also make a good foundation for Persian rugs.
The fibers from the cotton plant absorb dyes very well, so they are great if you want to make detailed and colorful designs and patterns.
Cotton fibers are also soft and warm. And they add some plushness to the rug.
The downside to using cotton fibers is that they are less durable than wool. Cotton fibers are less resilient and they tend to wear out faster compared to wool fibers. However, cotton blended with wool makes for great rugs that are soft yet still durable.
Silk is a very delicate type of fiber but it is known to be one of the most durable materials for making rugs. Silk is known for its fine texture, which has a certain sheen to it.
Silk fibers are often used to make luxurious
Persian rugs with intricate details and elegant designs. Some rug makers use silk in limited quantities, blending and weaving them in with the wool.
This is to add texture to a rug and to highlight certain details.
Given its luxurious look and feel, silk is quite expensive. It is probably one of its main downsides. The reason that silk is so expensive is the fact that the process of getting silk and dyeing silk takes a lot of effort.
Silk is also high-maintenance. If you have a rug that has silk fibers in it, it is recommended that you have it professionally cleaned rather than doing it yourself.
You do not want to risk damaging a rug, even if it is just partly made of silk, by trying to clean it by yourself.
The process of making Persian rugs involves the use of dyes. The fibers used in rug making are dyed to make beautiful designs and patterns, in various colors.
Here are the dyes used for Persian rugs:
Natural dyes are durable and they tend to last longer compared to other dyes, which is why they are most commonly used for dyeing rug fibers. Because they are natural, they are safe to use on expensive fibers like wool and silk. They also take a long time to fade.
The most popular natural dye is madder.
Madder is one of the oldest dyes used for traditional Persian rugs. It produces a red or crimson color that is quite common in Persian rug designs.
Other natural dyes that are commonly used for making Persian rugs include indigo, saffron, and lac. Rug makers mix different natural dyes to produce more colors.
Chrome dye is a synthetic dye that uses a compound called potassium bichromate.
This compound helps form a permanent bond between the yarn and the dye. This type of dye is mainly used to create dark colors, such as navy and black, on wool fibers.
It was in the late 19th century when Iran got introduced to chrome dyes.
These dyes have long dyeing times but they fade fast. Thus, they were considered unsuitable for making Persian rugs and ended up being banned by the Iranian government from being imported and used to dye wool fibers.
The art of making Persian rugs also make use of some tools to aid in the hand-knotting or hand-weaving process.
Materials Used To Manufacture Persian Rugs
The comb for making rugs resembles a brush with hard bristles. It is used to secure the knots in place to create a strong weave.
The hook looks like a knife with a narrow tip. Its sharp pointed tip is used to separate the warp threads while tying a knot to pass through the weft threads.
Its flat edge is used to cut excess threads.
The spindle is a short rod, which is used to roll natural fiber into yarn.
The scissor used in rug making is different from the usual scissors that we use. These scissors are used to clean off the edges while the rug is being woven.
The loom is used to hold the rug together and keep it in place, while it is being made.
There are different types of loom, and some regions use a certain type of loom.
- horizontal looms,
- vertical looms,
- fixed looms,
- Tabriz loom,
- and roller beam loom.
The most commonly used for making Persian rugs is the Tabriz loom.
Persian rugs are generally made of high-quality materials. This is why they are very expensive and valuable, but still also desirable by many. A lot of people buy authentic Persian rugs.
There is a lot of thought and artistic skill that goes into making authentic Persian rugs. And each rug is unique as they are all hand-woven or hand-knotted.
They are timeless pieces of home decor that can seamlessly fit in your indoor spaces, with the right decor accessories. If you are looking to buy a Persian rug, we’d say go for it! Even though they can be pricey, you can be guaranteed that they are indeed worth it.
The art of rug making in Iran is over 2500 years old and has been gradually passed down from one generation to another.
While the styles and designs are varied between the different regions and tribes in Iran, the process itself has been preserved for centuries.
Each region or tribe has its own signature style of Persian rugs.