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Sarouk Rugs: Epitome Of Beauty And Opulence In Persian Rugs
Sarouk rugs are made in the village of Sarouk and in the neighboring villages in central Iran. Sarouk is a mountainous region with a long history of excellence in weaving. During the period starting in the 19th century and through to the early 20th century, this region became one of the most active carpet weaving centers. High quality materials, fine knotting techniques and attractive designs all contributed to their reputation as one of the finest quality rugs manufactured in the Arak weaving district.
Sarouk rugs have 3 tell tale features- a blue stranded weft, an unusual salmon pink field and sprays of flowers that are detached. Only some of the floral sprays had a medallion.
Construction of Sarouks
Sarouk rugs have a very tight weave on a cotton foundation. The knots used were mostly Persian knots, which were symmetrical but some of the antique pieces were made using Turkish knots, which were asymmetrical. The weavers preferred not to clip the pile, leaving it long and lush.
The wool used in the construction of Sarouk rugs is of very high quality. With the fine quality wool, tight knots and long pile, the finished rug was thick, soft and luxurious. Some of the older Sarouks were so skillfully constructed, the finished product felt velvety and smooth
Colors & Design Rugs
Boteh, herati and gul hannai motifs are very commonly seen in these rugs. While some weavers preferred to place them in a medallion layout, others preferred to fill the entire rug in all-over versions of these motifs. The tree-of-life motif was another commonly seen feature on several of the older versions. In between the tree of life motifs you could find realistic animal motifs and also motifs of other trees, including Cyprus and willow.
The vase and prayer motif combination and the medallion-and-corner layout are other commonly seen designs featured in many of the older pieces. The medallion and corner layout consists of stylized geometric floral motives that look very naturalistic.
The design of the newer rugs is quite different from that of the older version. These new rugs feature a large sized medallion with pendants or concentric medallions strewn across the field.
The American Sarouk made its appearance some time after World War I. These versions have more open fields instead of the all over designs. The design consisted of free floating floral sprays that seemed to emerge from medallion like centers.
Typical colors used in antique Sarouk rugs include red, green, bright blue, burnt orange, ivory, brown or champagne. Newer versions have a predominance of salmon pink. Called Dughi, this unusual color is obtained by mixing curdled milk or yoghurt into the dye. Using a higher ratio of dye to yoghurt gave a deeper red. To get a lighter shade, more yoghurt was used. Turquoise, red and yellow outlines, defined the motifs against the colorful background.
With their high quality materials, fine knotting techniques and attractive designs Sarouk rugs are very popular and in great demand in Western countries.