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Unveiling the Timeless Beauty and Cultural Fusion of Sultanabad and Ziegler Rugs: A Journey Through Persian Artistry and Western Adaptation

Explore the timeless allure of Sultanabad rugs, also known as Ziegler rugs, originating from western Iran's Sultanabad region. Discover their rich history, adaptation to Western tastes, and enduring appeal, blending intricate designs with durable craftsmanship. Delve into the unique characteristics of Ziegler rugs, distinguished by higher knot counts and a distinct color palette, reflecting a cultural exchange between East and West. Experience the elegance of handwoven artistry and the symbolic significance of vibrant hues, like the profound rose-red, adding opulence to any space.

The Sultanabad rug, also known as Ziegler rugs, is a Persian rug oriented from the Sultanabad region in western Iran. The region was a major center for rug weaving during the 19th century. The beautifully handwoven rugs with intricate designs gained popularity in the Western world during the late 19th to early 20th century when European and American customers were drawn to the oriental carpets because of their unique designs yet durable construction. 

The demand from Western markets made the rug merchants in Sultanabad adapt the designs to cater to the new consumer, making the colors more subdued and the designs more fitting with Western interior design taste. The oriental rug quickly became sought after by collectors, and still, today is a treasure to come across!

The other name for the rugs: Ziegler - was born through a partnership with British firm Ziegler and Co. and local Persian rug producers. The antique Ziegler rugs often have a higher knot count than other Sultanabad rugs, and the material is finer and more lustrous wool, which has longer fibers than what is used in traditional Persian rugs. It almost is as soft as silk! Apart from the knot count and finer wool, another way the Ziegler rugs are different from other Persian carpets is with their color palette. Olive green, turquoise, and brown were often embroidered in the background and border. This was happening in the Arts and Crafts movement, and as a result, Ziegler modified the designs to a larger scale, as well as the size of the rugs, to suit Western room specifications. 

Ziegler and Company produced the rugs in 1876 and continued until the 1930s, and after the production had stopped, the rugs gained even more popularity.

Despite market changes and trend evolutions - Sultanabad rugs have kept their appeal because of their timeless beauty and quality. Their historical significance also has played a role. since this era was a special time of cultural exchange between the East and the West. 

These beautiful oriental rugs are handwoven, using a technique that’s been passed down for generations. Like most Persian rug techniques, it could take months for the weaver to make the carpet. 

One of the more popular colors in the Sultanabad repertoire was red. A deep rose-red to be specific. This was created by soaking the wool in rose madder and whey (the leftovers of milk) for days. Apart from being a beautiful color for a floor covering, in Persian history it also has symbolic significance; it’s associated with power, passion, luck, wealth, and vitality. 

A red-toned Ziegler rug can make any room look prosperous, setting the tone of how you want your home to feel. Having a red rug is a bold move, it will grab one’s attention while entering your space. When styling a home with a prominent rug, it can be nice to compliment the rug with a rich wall color. On first thought, it might seem like it’s best to go with a neutral wall color when having a colorful rug, but using an equally rich wall color will make the room look exquisite. This Ziegler Sultanabad with a dark rose-red center would be beautiful in a living room painted in a dark green wall color.



This colorful Ziegler gives a pop of colorful happiness! Picture this in an open, light office space with large windows and the sun shining in through thin linen curtains. The royal blue combined with tomato-red delicate floral vine makes the motifs nicely complemented. This playful – yet elegant – oriental rug would make anyone’s creativity flow!


This Sultanabad from the late 19th century has a unique turquoise/green center, surrounded by a lighter beige frame. Another beautiful way to implement an oriental rug in your home pleasantly is by using something in the rug to match with another detail in your home.  A large vase placed on the coffee table picking up the greenish colors from the center would make this a beautifully decorated room.