Hand Knotted Malayer Rugs: A Fabulous Combination Of Two Distinct Weaving Styles
One of over 100 weaving villages scattered around in this region, Malayer has a long history of rug weaving. In the 19th and 20th centuries, production in Malayer and the surrounding smaller villages was almost exclusively limited to small sized rugs and runners woven by individual weavers. Very few families in the larger villages undertook the weaving of larger rugs. Otherwise, oversize rugs were only woven on commission. Malayer rugs are typically very thick and vary widely in pattern, featuring paisleys, polygons, medallions and herati motifs. These rugs are very highly valued and have been known to fetch handsome prices at a high end auctions.
Creative Combinations of Malayer Rugs
Hand Knotted Malayer rugs are produced in Malayer, a large village located between the major weaving areas of Hamadan and Sarouk in Northwest Persia. What is really fascinating about Malayer rugs is that the weavers have imbibed the characteristics of both their rug weaving neighbors while still managing to create a final product that remains distinctly different from the originals. At the finer levels, each Malayer rug is distinctly different. While the weavers draw on a large pool of designs from these two regions, they weave a lot of their own originality into their creations and this is evident in the final result. These are undoubtedly some of the most decorative of Persian village weavings. In trade circles Hand Knotted Malayer rugs are often described as ‘Hamadan Senneh’ rugs, which refers to the combination of the two styles – the fine weave resembles the Hamadans and the symmetrically knotted, single-wefted herati design is similar to that of the Senneh rugs. Malayer weavers produce predominantly single-wafted rugs, but the Malayer versions are often much finer than the original Hamadan rugs.
Characteristic Designs & Colors of Malayer Rugs
Given the fusion of ideas combined with originality, the endless array of designs is not surprising. You can find hand knotted Malayer rugs with all over field designs as well as those with a central medallion surrounded by varied motifs. The variety and richness of the motifs and overall designs makes these rugs endlessly interesting. One of the favorite motifs of the weavers is the boteh, which represents a sprouting seed. Weavers wove this motif lavishly into their creations sometimes using it to cover entire fields in the smaller rugs and runners. The outcome of the repeated pattern with its rich colors is absolutely mesmerizing.