Tabriz Rugs

Do you want to learn more about Tabriz Rugs? We are discussing the history, recognition, and design of Hand Knotted Tabriz Rugs

Tabriz rugs are known for their outstanding quality and durability and also for featuring one of the most diverse displays of designs on any type of Persian rug. The designs are limitless – from figural and medallion to the Herati/Mahi designs and even 3-dimensional rugs. These rugs are hand knotted and truly demonstrate the exceptional artistic skills of the weavers in this region.


History Of Tabriz Rugs

Tabriz rugs have a long and interesting history going all the way back to the 15th century. These rugs are woven in the ancient city of Tabriz, situated on the slope of the Sahand Mountain in northwest Iran.

Tabriz is the fifth largest city in Iran, located in the northwestern region near the edge of the Caucasus Mountains. This city once served as the capital of Iran and was home to the crown prince of the Qajar dynasty.

Where Tabriz Rugs Are Made

The city of Tabriz was the capital of the Safavid dynasty. Rug production started in this region around the year 1501, making this one of the oldest rug manufacturing regions. Historically, Tabriz has been known as a city of master weavers who excelled in this particular art form.

Their creations displayed a high level of technical skill, both in the weaving techniques used and in the designs and finish of the rugs. Till around the 19th century, only residents in Tabriz and its neighboring regions had access to these classic creations.


1-Min Introduction to Tabriz Rugs

The Discovery Of Tabriz Rugs

Sometime during the 19th century, Western countries discovered Tabriz rugs thanks to the efforts of three Persian master weavers – Sheik Safi, Kurban Dai, and Haji Jalili. Very soon rug merchants began exporting these rugs on a large scale to Western markets.

Tabriz rugs are woven in the city of Tabriz and numerous surrounding villages, which have been known as the center of rug weaving for hundreds of years. The city of Tabriz has the biggest range of designs and quality in the whole orient rugs. The weavers there are among the fastest and are identified as highest skilled weavers in Iran. The weaving from this region can vary greatly in quality and for this reason Hand Knotted Tabriz rugs can range anywhere from 50 to 500 knots per square inch.

Tabriz Rug Bazar In Tabriz, Iran (Sarai Mozafari Tabriz)

What Makes The Tabriz Rugs So Popular?

Tabriz rugs enjoy unparalleled popularity among rug enthusiasts, interior designers and homeowners all over the world. So what exactly is it about these rugs that makes them so popular?

The first is the exceptional quality of these rugs. Unlike many other types of Persian rugs, which are produced by nomadic weavers, Tabriz rugs are woven in rug-weaving centers in the city. These rug-weaving centers hire only the most skilled weavers and provide them with a bright, clean, and spacious workshops to create their masterpieces. The result is superior quality, sophisticated rugs with some of the most elaborate designs and styling seen in Persian rugs.

What Is So Special About Tabriz Rugs?

Every knot is impeccably made by experienced weavers who tie one knot at a time making sure it is perfect before tying the next one. The result is a tight, even weave and a smooth pile. Run your hand across the top or underside of the rug and it feels soft, smooth and silky to the touch. This is something every rug owner wants in their floor piece.

It’s not just the sensory delight that makes Tabriz rugs so popular. Another reason for the high popularity of these rugs is their flawlessly executed deigns, even though they are highly elaborate. Although these rugs feature a wide array of designs and colors, the one thing that remains constant is that they are all extremely intricate.

How Do You Identify A Tabriz Rug?

Another feature that intrigues rug collectors is the historical influences that are often woven into the design.

Some of the well-known poets that influenced the designs of Tabriz rugs are Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ferdozi, Hafez, Fizuli, and Saadi. Some weavers selected their favorite verses from these poets and depicted them in their designs, others wove full poems into the borders of the rugs. Still others depicted much-loved characters from these poems into their designs. Iskander & Layla, Shirin, Majnun, and Khosrau are some of the more popular characters that can be seen in many Tabriz rugs.

Not surprisingly, Tabriz rugs that feature these features are collectors’ items. They are very rare to find and very expensive too.

Tabriz Rug – History, Designs, And Colors

Tabriz Rugs: Exceptional Quality With An Endless Array Of Designs

These Persian rugs are woven in Tabriz, an ancient city located in north western Iran. This city has been at the center of the rug making world for hundreds of years. The diversity of the designs seen on Tabriz rugs as well as the varying quality of the rugs stems from the sheer vastness of the rug making industry in this region.

Different Styles Of Tabriz Rugs

Rug collectors who are looking for an investment but want something different from the Shah Abbasi style can also find high quality Tabriz rugs featuring hunting scenes, medallions in a wide range of shapes and sizes, assorted curvilinear patterns, and gardens filled with palmettos lying in between a colorful array of floral motifs. The designs and colors used are breathtaking, which contributes to the rising popularity of Tabriz rugs.

Designs of Antique Persian Tabriz rugs feature medallions, flowers, gardens and hunting scenes, along with pictorial rugs featuring fascinating curvilinear designs.

Within such overwhelming diversity, some patterns are still rare and can only be found in exclusive private collections or as family possessions.
Other Motifs In Tabriz Rugs

Shah Abbasi Style Tabriz

Many Tabriz rugs are woven in the Shah Abbasi style or the Islimi style or a combination of both. These rugs feature a medallion in the center with the corners filled with quarters of medallion. You can also find rugs with simpler geometric patterns or predominantly floral motifs with palmettos, assorted flowers, vases and hunting scenes along the edges.

The Shah Abbasi style is quite common in Tabriz rugs. Only very experienced and skilled weavers can recreate this style so precisely.

Some rugs feature only the Shah Abbasi style all over, while others may combine it with the Islimi style to create a unique-looking rug. Tabriz rug weavers were not limited in their styling. They mixed and matched an assortment of delicate designs from refined arabesques, to multi-faceted flowers and lush vinery to create a variety of unique designs.

Rug collector and interior designers place high value on these rugs because of their uniqueness as well as the elaborate designing.

Construction Of Tabriz Rugs

Tabriz rugs have a unique weave consisting of double wefts usually made of cotton or wool together with cotton warps. Some craftsmen use silk or a combination of silk and wool, with Kurk wool and silk blended together for the pile.

Some of extremely luxurious, high end antique Tabriz rugs use silk as an essential part for both the foundation and the pile, with gold threads interwoven in the base.

The knots are a combination of Persian and Turkish knots and a tightly woven doubled foundation. In general the knots are fairly dense and can range anywhere between 120-850 knots per square inch. The higher quality rugs have a short trimmed nap which is slightly hard to the touch, whereas the average rugs have longer naps.

Turkish Knots And Tools Use To Create Tabriz Rugs

Colors Of Tabriz Rugs

The colors that can be seen on these rugs are just as diverse as the patterns. One of the more remarkable features of Tabriz rugs is the use of a sophisticated palette of copper tones, ivory, burgundy and terracotta, with varying shades of baby blue and navy blue and subtle touches of gold, green, tan and salmon.

Vegetable Dyes Use For Coloring Rugs
Vegetables Dyes Colors Used In Tabriz Rug

Weaving Technique Used To Make Tabriz Rugs

Tabriz weavers used the Turkish symmetrical knots to create their magnificent rugs. The one notable feature of Tabriz rugs is that they have an unusually tight weave. Every knot is woven repeatedly until the base of the rug is firm and taut.

Wool or silk are commonly used for the nap, while cotton or silk threads are used for the warp and weft. The wool used for these rugs is sourced primarily from Maku, a neighboring region that produced plenty of rough, bristly wool.

Vertical Looms Are Found More In City Weavers Because They Are Hard To Dismantle And Transport.

An interesting feature of Tabriz rugs is that weavers often used silk to accent and highlight certain designs in the rugs. The shimmering silk stood out from the rest of the design and drew attention to it. Silk was very often used in the Mahi design to create a shimmering effect with the leaves.

Introduction To Silk And Wool Tabriz Rugs

Mores Facts About Tabriz Persian Rugs

1.Tabriz rugs usually have short trimmed piles, so they generally have a lighter feel than other Hand Knotted Persian Rugs

2.They have extraordinary precision and regularity of the weave. This is partly due to the small metal hook used in tying the knots.

3.Tabriz is also known for its exceptionally wide range of colors, including deep reds and midnight blues to pastel ivory and yellows.

4.The weavers in Tabriz use the Turkish knot instead of the Persian knot, and for this reason, Tabriz rugs encompass great consistency and have perfect symmetrical patterns.

Typical Sizes Of Tabriz Rugs For Sale

You can find Tabriz rugs for sale in a wide range of sizes, from smaller rugs of 2’ x 3’ and 4’ x 6’, to larger sizes of 9’ x 14’ and 25’ x 40.

A Tabriz rug can instantly add a touch of style and class to any room. What’s more, no matter how much you may pay for your rug, you know it is going to be much cheaper than some of the pieces that have auctioned for well over million dollars and now grace the rooms of exclusive private collectors.

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