Heriz Rugs

Heriz rugs are easily recognizable because of their bold colors and unique signature design, consisting of a large medallion with oversized corner pieces and double or even triple outlining. 

These Persian rugs are also heavier and more durable as compared to most other types of Persian rugs.

Where Are Heriz Rugs Made

Heriz Rugs are woven in several towns and villages in the northwestern region of Iran. All of these weaving centers are scattered around Mount Sabalan in Heriz.

One of the reasons why these rugs are so tough is because of the source of their wool. Mount Sabalan sits on a rich deposit of copper and small amounts of copper find their way into the water that the sheep drink.

The trace copper in the drinking water makes the wool far more resilient and stronger than the wool sourced from most other areas.

This strong, superior quality wool is the secret behind the hardwearing and durable qualities that Heriz rugs are famous for. These rugs have a heavier handle and are some of the toughest and longest lasting rugs you will find.


Sheep Crazing in Mountains
The wool used in Heriz is sourced from Sheep in the local mountains

Table of Contents

Heriz Rugs – Design, History And Colors

Antique Heriz Rugs

antique heriz rug
Antique 5′ x 6′ Heriz Rug

Antique Heriz rugs are some of the most majestic creations you can find in the world of Persian village rugs.

The signature design used in antique Heriz rugs is an oversized medallion with large corner pieces. Angular oak leaves and assorted foliage in an assortment of warm colors fill these patterns.

A skillfully created abrash field acts as the backdrop to the large, elaborate motifs. The overall effect is bold and eye-catching.

Only natural dyes were used to color antique Heriz rugs. These natural dyes tend to mellow over the years, which is why these rugs have a subtle patina not seen in the newer pieces.

Antique Persian rugs have been become scarce because of the high demand in the earlier years. This makes them a great investment that is sure to increase in value through the years.

The Difference Between Heriz and Serapi Rugs

Serapi rugs are a type of Heriz rug that were woven before 1910. Although both rugs have a few similarities, they do have several notable differences in their designs as well as the colors used.

Although both rugs have strong medallion design, there is a prominent difference in the style of medallion used in each rug type.

In Heriz rugs, the medallion has more than eight sides and resembles a star surrounded by floral motifs.

The Serapi medallion is outlined in bold lines and looks very different.

Heriz rugs have darker colors and their entire surface area is completely covered in a high degree of detail. Although Serapi rugs are also highly detailed, they have more open spaces in their design.

Another difference lies in the colors used in the designs. Heriz rugs feature darker, deeper colors as compared to Serapi rugs.

example of serapi rug
Antique Serapi Rug
Heriz 8’4″ x 11’5″ Aged (50-60 years)

What is a Serapi Rug?

The history behind Serapi rugs is interesting. Sometime in the 1930’s, there was a high demand for a type of Heriz rug that was discontinued. In order to capitalize on this high demand and not lose out on potential sales, rug buyers created the Serapi pseudonym to describe that particular type of Heriz rug. 

That name stuck on and is still being used to describe a high-quality rug that is woven in the district in the village of Serab, located in the Heriz region of Iran. In short, a Serapi rug is a distinctive type of Heriz rug.

It is not always easy to tell the difference between a Heriz and Serapi with a casual glance of the rug’s top side. One definite way to tell the difference is by turning the rug over and checking out the underside visually and by running your hand across the weave

How much are Serapi Rugs Worth

Serapi rugs are typically more expensive than Heriz rugs as they are rarer. Most of them are woven before 1900 and are considered Antique Persian Rugs.

Pile And Knot in Heriz Rugs

Knots on Back of Heriz

Heriz rugs have a coarse construction with a cotton foundation and woven wool pile.

The knot count of these rugs can range from a lower count of 100 knots per square inch to a higher count of about 144 knots per square inch. Rugs with a higher knot count of over 144 knots per square inch are quite unusual.

Heriz Weaving Techniques

Weavers use the symmetrical Turkish knot to produce the thick woolen pile on a sturdy foundation made of cotton. The combination of materials and the weaving techniques used give the rugs their famed durability.

Wool Heriz Rugs

Like most other authentic Persian rugs, the wool used in the older pieces was always dyed using pure, natural vegetable dyes.

There is a marked difference in the wool used in antique Heriz rugs and the rugs manufactured in later years. However, despite the change in the type of wool used, weavers do not compromise on the quality of the wool.

Natural Wool
Natural Wool

Lustrous wool obtained from the Shahsavan tribe was mostly used to create antique Heriz rugs.

The Shahsavan were a nomadic tribe that traversed the nearby Elbrus Mountains. The vegetation and climate at those altitudes resulted in high quality wool that is found in the antique Heriz rugs.

More recently, weavers obtain high quality, lanolin rich wool from Tabriz. The quality of the wool is just as good but slightly different.

Common Heriz Rug Patterns

The traditional Heriz Oriental rug pattern is a geometric lobed medallion with pendants. The design has taken influences from Persian and Caucasian designs. The Heriz region is located closely to the Caucasus and a lot of the Caucasian tradition can be seen in the Heriz designs.

The most common design in traditional Heriz rugs have a large central lobed medallion with pendants placed on top of a rust or brick field with corner spandrels and a blue border containing the Herati pattern.

The double outlining technique is another unique feature that is seen in some of the finer Heriz rugs. In this technique, weavers used two lines in different colors to highlight the central design and separate it from the field. The result is nothing short of spectacular.

Heriz rugs rarely feature repetitive patterns that are often seen in many other types of Persian rugs.

The Herati Pattern

The Herati pattern is a design that depicts a flower inside a rhomb surrounded by four acanthus leaves. These leaves are sometimes called fishes, because of their similarity.

The field can also be designed with stylized leaf motifs and repeated palmettes. The inner and outer narrow guards, that guard the larger border usually contain a repeating floral pattern within the design.

Geometrical and Medallion Designs of Heriz Rugs

Heriz rugs feature a number of unique design elements that set them apart from most other Persian rugs.

While you will see that most other Persian variations utilize a curved form in their designing, Heriz rugs have a more definite geometrical design which is achieved through a series of angular twists and turns.

Another trademark feature of these rugs is their large medallion with white, corner spandrels and a border of samovars. Numerous angular oak leaves and foliage fill in the surrounding field. The final effect is bold, stunning and eye catching.

One design element is the series of angular lines that result in designs that are more geometrical in nature. This is different from other Persian rugs that usually feature more curved or curvilinear forms in their design.

The large central medallion is another hallmark feature of Heriz rugs. This medallion usually features corner spandrels in white. This medallion and corner motif is surrounded by a field filled with highly stylized floral motifs, foliage and angular oak leaves. Some may feature a border of samovars.

How To Style These Patterns With Your Home Décor

The Heriz rug designs are a bold and strong pattern that can perfectly suit a traditional study or library. It can work equally as well in living rooms and dining rooms.

Heriz rugs are a versatile design element that can be used to add a pop of color and style to any room. Whether you’re looking for a focal point for your room or something to tie the room together a Heriz rug can be right for you.

They are able to suit any space, especially traditional and rustic designs. The Heriz rugs are warm-toned which makes it the perfect thing to pair with wood tones, making these styles a great pairing.

For example, it can help to add the touch of classical elegance to a traditional room, while in a rustic style room it can add an element of warmth that makes a cozy and inviting space.

No matter what your personal style is there is a Heriz rug to suit your space!

Medallion Design
Geometrical Design

Common Colors Used in Heriz

Typical Heriz colors include rich reds, deep blues, brilliant greens and sunny yellows set against a field of creamy ivory.

The blue color seen in these rugs is unusual in that it resembles a brilliant teal or turquoise shade. Cream and ivory are often used as accents and to lend a lighter touch to the rugs.

As these rugs age, the dark colors slowly start to fade, taking on beautiful lighter versions of their original shades.

Natural Dyes

natural dying
Natural Dyes Are the Main Source of Persian Rug Colors.

The colors of Heriz rugs are made from natural dyes. This gives them rich and vibrant hues that can brighten up any room. The most common dyes used are made from plants, minerals, and insects.

The dyes extracted from the plants growing in that region were generally darker in color, which explains why these rugs feature these warmer hues.

For example, madder root is commonly used to produce red dyes, while indigo is used to produce blue dyes.

The different dyes can create a variety of colors ranging from rich jewel tones to subtle pastel colors using traditional methods.

The Heriz rug makers in particular were renowned for their mastery at vegetable dyeing as well as their mastery of the abrash technique and this expertise is amply evident in the colors used in these rugs.

The abrash technique is a process of deliberate weaving to achieve a variation of hues within one color shade. With age, these rugs acquire a mellow, pleasant patina that adds to their visual appeal.

How To Pair These Colors

If you want to add some color to your home a Heriz rug is a great way to do it!

Rugs are the perfect way to add color and pattern to a room, and Heriz rugs are a perfect example of a vibrant and eye-catching piece.

The secret to pairing the colors of your home décor with a Heriz rug is to match the colors of the rug with those in your home décor. For instance, if your rug has a lot of red in it, pair it with red throw pillows on your sofa to make a cohesive look. If your rug has lots of warm red tones, they go beautifully with wooden furniture to create an expensive look. If your rug has lots of green and brown in it, pair it with earth tones like tan or beige.

Antique Heriz rugs and piano on top
Antique Heriz Rug at Catalina Rug’s Clients Home

Creating Color Schemes

It is best to coordinate your colors through color pairings like complimentary colors, analogous colors, and triadic colors.

Complimentary colors are colors that are across from each other on the color wheel. An example of this could be blue and orange. This means that the color compliments the other nicely and works to make a cohesive color scheme. This means that if your rug has a lot of oranges, it is nice to pair it with blue tones.

The analogous color scheme is three colors that are side by side on the color wheel. This means that colors like blue, green, and blue-green. To pair with your rug, you can incorporate colors that are beside it on the color wheel.

The triadic color scheme is done by pairing three colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel. This could be red, blue, and yellow. If you have a red rug incorporating the other colors is a good way to make a unified color scheme.

By matching the colors in your décor with those in your rug, you’ll create a cohesive and pulled-together look.

Typical Sizes Of Heriz Rugs

You can find Heriz rugs in a wide range of sizes. Antique Heriz rug sizes can range anywhere from a small size of 8 feet x 11 feet to a large size of 15 feet x 24 feet

Rug Care

When you buy a Heriz Rug it is a great investment, and it is important for you to care for it properly so that it maintains its appearance and value. With simple care and maintenance, your Heriz rug can be a family heirloom that is passed down to family members in the future.

Taking care of a rug is not difficult as long as you keep up with it and take care of it on a regular basis. It is also important to get your rug cleaned professionally once every 5 years to 10 years to eliminate any built-up dust that has settled into the rug even with regular care.

Everyday Care

To make sure that your rug is well maintained you should regularly clean it with a brush or a vacuum cleaner. This can help to minimize dust and dirt buildup.

Rotating your rug can help to minimize uneven sun exposure and make sure that any wear is evenly dispersed instead of concentrated on one area of the rug. Sun exposure can lead to rug fading that can damage the appearance of your rug.

To avoid prolonged sun exposure in direct sunlight, you can use curtains or blinds to shade the rug.

What If My Rug Gets Wet

Dampness can be a major issue for handmade Heriz rugs. Since they are made of wool being left wet for an extended period of time can lead to shrinking.

This means that it is important to clean the rug quickly if there is anything spilled on it. Quickly blot the area with kitchen paper towels. If there is a residue that remains, apply a carpet shampoo mixed with warm water and blot it into the rug.

Overall maintaining your Heriz rug is not difficult, but it does require regular care. With proper care your rug will be a prized possession for many years to come!

Making A Style Statement With Heriz Rugs

Heriz rugs always feature traditional designs that are often woven from memory.

With their balanced natural color scheme, Heriz rugs can make a bold style statement in any environment and because they only get better with age, you know your rug will only increase in value as it gets older.

Regardless of style or age, Heriz rugs have a certain style and flair that lend color, class and character to any room you place it in.