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The vibrant, colorful history of Tabriz rugs

An antique Persian Tabriz rug will uplift any room with beauty and history that has lasted for hundreds of years. With a colorful and vivid past, these rugs are woven in Tabriz, a city flowing with history and arts like no other. Tabriz rugs are the most sought-after Persian rugs, recognized for their exquisite design, fine craftsmanship, and high-quality materials, such as organic wool and natural dyes. These oriental rugs, created with thought and premium materials will forever be a well-invested key decoration piece in any home. Read to learn about the astonishing past, and we will begin the journey to finding your own quintessential Tabriz.

What is a Tabriz rug?

Tabriz rugs are a type of rug named after the city of Tabriz, one of the oldest weaving centers in Iran, known for its rich tradition in rug making. Tabriz is also known for its cultural heritage, with museums, monuments, and a legendary historic bazaar complex listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is recognized as one of the oldest and largest in the world. The bazaar brings tourists and visitors from all over the world in search of Middle Eastern spices, handcrafts, textiles - and carpets.

PURE SILK TABRIZ

PURE SILK TABRIZ NORTH WEST PERSIA LATE 19TH CENTURY

 

The art of weaving in Tabriz can be tracked back centuries, most likely a center for textile production since ancient times. However, the development of Tabriz rugs as we know them today began to take shape during the medieval period, also referred to as the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736). The Safavid rulers were contributors to the arts and helped encourage the production of rugs and carpets.

 

The 19th century is often referred to as the golden age of Tabriz rugs, the city flourished of artistic and cultural influence during the Qajar Dynasty which lasted until 1925. Rugs from this period are of exceptional quality, and detailed designs often feature vibrant motifs of floral and central medallions.

 

In the late 19th century, the rugs started becoming known outside of Iran, and buyers and collectors from across Europe sought out Tabriz rugs which led to an increased production of the rugs but also a new influence of design motifs. Today, despite an overproduction of machine-made carpets around the world, the traditional Persian craftsmanship called Tabriz rugs is highly sought after. 

 

The Art of Making an Exceptional Oriental Rug

 

The making of the perfect Tabriz rug is quite a process, going through many different steps in creating this handmade, artistic masterpiece.

 

The process often starts with design, which can be based on traditional patterns or customized with the weaver’s creativity. The designs are often drawn out of graph paper or can be done directly on the loom. Common design patterns are intricate patterns such as medallions or flowering plants.

HAJ JALILI TABRIZ

HAJ JALILI TABRIZ NORTH WEST PERSIA EARLY 20TH CENTURY

 

The next step is the materials, and high quality is significant for the Tabriz rugs. It’s often fine wool or cotton, but also silk can be used to highlight intricate details or create patterns and motifs. The yarns are thereafter dyed in natural dyes, to create the desired colors. The color palette is often in rich, vibrant hues, like red, blue, and gold.

 

The weaver is now ready to begin making the carpet. The warp, the vertical thread, and the weft, the horizontal threads, are set up on the loom depending on the design specifications for the rug in making. Tabriz rugs are often woven using a Persian knot technique, where the selected yarn is looped around pairs of warp threads and then cut to create the perfect pile. The weaver often ties each knot by hand, following the design closely to keep it consistent and make the most precise pattern.

 

Once the weaving is done, which can take months to sometimes a year, the rug goes through several finishing processes: trimming the pile to get a uniform height and appearance, followed by washing and drying to enhance the colors. Some carpets have detailing done, such as adding silk to enhance elements of a pattern or carving to add texture and depth to the design. Each Tabriz rug is a work of art.

 

Tabriz rugs elevating your own home      

 

As a beautiful piece of art in your own home, an antique Persian Tabriz rug will uplift any room and make your home prosper. Finding your perfect rug can take time, but once you find your one you will know it. Below are a couple of featured rugs that have style, history, and their exquisite uniqueness.

TABRIZ NORTH WEST PERSIA LATE 19TH CENTURY

TABRIZ NORTH WEST PERSIA LATE 19TH CENTURY

 

  1. This pure silk Tabriz from northwest Persia, late 19th century, has a very elegant touch and shows a beautiful intricate design featuring palmette floral vines and a golden cream cusped medallion. The subtle cream color as a background with a fine decorative motif in red makes this a beautiful area rug for a living room space following a more neutral color palette. Combined with an earth-tone main piece, like a sofa and a coffee table with antique features decorated with a stack of colorful design books – you enter a living room space filled with not only warmth - but also impeccable taste.
  2. This traditional hand-woven Persian Haj Jalili Tabriz rug decorative motifs make you go into a dream space. The natural earth tones and shaded brown and sandy-yellow stylized floral and leafy motifs calm you down and it is the perfect addition to a bedroom following a modern but simple interior. Picture a wooden vintage bedframe, a large mirror with a sturdy, bold frame, and flowy linen window treatments framing the windows.
  3. This antique Tabriz, ca 1890, is an art piece by itself! Some keep their art on the walls, or you can choose to place it as a mesmerizing floor covering. The overall design of noblemen hunting animals and dragons is surrounded by trees and flowering plants. The brown border around the center motif features female figures and flowers. You can look at this for hours, imagining what tale is being told. A great conversation starter for a dinner party! A multi-colored piece like this will look nice paired with contrasting tones, such as a lighter-colored sofa or a well-curated floor lamp. Also finding something complimentary from the blue tones that are prominent, such as blue curtains to go along will make the room a balanced beauty.