When it comes to Hamadan rugs, one of the most distinguishing features is the wide range of quality and designs that are available. This is because these rugs are woven across a vast region spanning several villages. With an average of two and sometime more than two different styles being manufactured in each of these villages, there are a total of more than three thousand different styles of Hamadan rugs. This is a mind-boggling number and quite different from most other oriental rugs that usually originate from much smaller regions and have perhaps just a couple of different styles within the region.
History of Hamadan
Located in the western part of Iran, 300 kilometers west of Teheran, Hamadan is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is even mentioned in the Bible under the name of Ekbatana.
A provincial capital in North West Iran, the city of Hamadan has long been an important rug weaving and marketing area with the 1500 towns and villages in the surrounding region producing scatter size rugs and runners for export. A.C. Edwards of the OCM group set up the first weaving looms in and around Hamadan in 1912. Several years later these looms were nationalized by the Persians and today they are used to produce the fine, high quality weaves and rich, ornate designs that are so popular in the Middle Eastern countries.
Characteristic Designs of Hamadan Rugs
Unless you are an expert on rugs, Hamadans are a little more difficult to identify than most other rugs because of the sheer variety in their patterns, colors and designs. The patterns can vary from overall Herati designs to a field of floral or geometric motifs. The geometric pattern is favored amongst most of the weavers, with diamond shaped and hexagonal shaped medallions being the most common.
Construction Of Hamadan Rugs
The weavers obtain the wool for weaving from their own sheep and because these sheep graze at such high altitudes, the wool is robust and hardy. Interestingly, because of the different grazing patterns of the sheep in the different regions, there is a significant variation in the quality of the rugs from the different villages. The differences in the designs are also because each village uses their own circumstances and surroundings to influence their creations.
All of the rugs produced in this region have a single weft on a cotton foundation. Although the knotting techniques may differ from one village to another, all Hamadan rugs are symmetrically knotted with robust knots and densities that vary from about 40 knots per square inch to 100 knots per square inch.
The long lasting quality of Hamadan rugs is attributed to the hardy wool that is used in the weaving combined with the robust knotting technique that the weavers use. This colorful designs and the extraordinary durability is what makes these rugs a favorite with homeowners around the world.