Part 2: Types of Persian Rugs

Types Of Persian Rugs

How many different types of persian rugs are there?

There are many persian rug styles, and in a moment we’ll take a look at all the different types of persian carpets available.

To begin, let’s look at the 3 main oriental rug styles… to do this, we’ll have to go back in time…

All the way back to 3000 BC – 1200 BC.

Because this is when the incredible art of rug weaving started.

Documents show that persian carpets go all the way back to the ancient Greeks. As it was Homer (who wrote the poem ‘Iliad’ in 850BC) that spoke of magical lands and “splendid carpets”.

Which in historical terms, was around the Bronze Age.

And because of this long and rich history, the types of middle eastern rugs evolved tremendously over the years.

From humble beginnings, (where rugs were weaved out of necessity – to keep mountain people and travelling tribes warm and out of the wind)

… to the royalty of Persia demanding that they too must-see these majestic and “Splendid Carpets” adorn their own floors and walls…

… all the way to the palatial homes of Kings & Queens in Europe and further still… into the whitehouse in America.

It’s safe to say these “Magic Carpets” have travelled a long way.

Table of Contents

Types Of Oriental Rugs

What are the different types of persian rugs?

What you’re about to learn will make identifying types of oriental rugs much easier.

Also you can learn about what is the difference between Persian Rugs vs Oriental Rugs.

Persian Carpet Types

Persian rug types can be categorized into three distinct categories:

This makes the kinds of persian rugs you see today so unique. On one hand they are all from Ancient Persia (modern day Iran), which makes the majority of them highly desirable..

… but the fact that there were 3 distinct “types” of manufacture … 3 simultaneous lines of tradition — means that there is a color, pattern, style and type for almost everyone.

So how do you go about identifying types of persian rugs?

While an expert would easily be able to differentiate a Tabriz from a Heriz rug, and a Kashan from an Isfahan, can you? By the time you’re done reading this article you’ll be well on your way. Here are a few distinctive characteristics of each type that will help you impress anyone with your knowledge of Persian rugs:


Types of Persian Rugs

Tabriz Rugs

Red Floral Tabriz Rug
Floral Design Tabriz Rug

Tabriz rugs originate from Tabriz, capital city of Azerbaijan and one of the oldest rug weaving centers in the region. These are high quality rugs with a wool or wool/silk pile and a cotton or silk warp.

The patterns range from teardrop medallions to floral, trees and hunting scenes. Antique Tabriz rugs are extremely valuable and can only be found in exclusive private collections and museums.

Some of our Tabriz Rugs

Heriz Rugs

Rust Geometric Heriz Rug
Geometric Heriz Rug

Bright vibrant colors and characteristic bold patterns make these rugs easy to identify. Heriz rugs will always feature an oversized medallion in the center, with a double or triple outline and large corner pieces. These rugs are very durable and will last for generations.

Kashan Rugs

Traditional Kashan Rug
Traditional Kashan Rug

The medallion and corner pattern on an ornately patterned floral field is a trademark of Kashan rugs. The colors used in the designing is usually a combination of deep blues, rich reds and ivory with occasional splotches of yellow, green and burnt orange. These rugs are high quality with a knot count that ranges from 100kpsi to over 800 kpsi.

Some of our Kashan Rugs

Persian Rug Identification

So how does one know what to look for when identifying oriental rug patterns?

First, let’s clarify machine-made from hand-knotted.

Take a look at this:

In the image on the left, we see a plastic layer on the back of this rug, (which indicates it is machine-made) whereas in the image on the right, we see the same coloration/texture on both sides indicating a hand-knotted Persian rug.

On closer inspection we see more differences in this photo here:

Handmade rug vs machine made rug
Machine Made vs HandMade

And just to make it even easier to tell original persian carpet designs from unoriginals, we see the following:

But how do you identify types of persian rugs with more certainty?

If we’re talking authentic, genuine, hand-knotted Perisan Rugs…

… then beware of hard plastic backing, bleeding colors, make sure the fringe is NOT sewn or glued on and ensure you always purchase from a reputable dealer that displays their prices upfront.

However, if we’re talking about the origin of a rug, what specific type it is, how old it is etc — it can be a bit more difficult. But here are 2 of the easiest things you can do:

Continue reading this article to familiarize yourself with the different rug types. Check out our rug category pages here and our rug encyclopedia here.

Speak to the experts. A persian rug expert can help you better understand the types of handmade rugs, appraise a rug you own, and offer you insights gained from a lifetime in the rug business. Which can save you time (and potentially money).

Gabbeh Rugs

Plain Pattern Gabbeh
Plain Pattern Gabbeh

Woven by Qashqai and Luri weavers in the Zagros Mountains, the tribal influence is very evident in Gabbeh rugs. Made of local handspun wool, these rugs are thick and coarse and the designs are simple and woven on a plain lush field of color. Only natural dyes are used and typical colors of these rugs are orange, yellow, rust or red.

Some of our Gabbeh Rugs

Isfahan Rugs

Silk and Wool Isfahan Rug
Silk & Wool Isfahan

The design of silk and wool design Isfahan rugs is very balanced and symmetrical. Typically it will consist of a single indigo, rose or blue medallion surrounded by vines and woven on an ivory background.

Some of our Silk & Wool Rugs

Nain Rugs

Ivory Color Nain Rug
Ivory color Nain Rug

Nain rugs are high quality with very fine quality wool and a knot count of about 300 kpsi to 700 kpsi. The patterns are very intricate and usually consist of blue or green intertwined branches with tiny flowers woven on a white or light ivory background.

Some of our Nain Rugs

Persian Carpet Designs

The most common persian patterns and motifs are:

So how many rug pattern names did you spot?

The reason there are so many oriental rug patterns is largely due to the fact that carpet-weaving started 2,500 years ago and as such — the oriental and persian rug patterns history is weaved as a story into the very fabric of each rug.

Persian Rug Patterns

So what types of persian rug patterns do you favor?

The good news is, last time we did an inventory check, we had at least one Persian or Oriental Rug with each rug pattern in stock — so you’re sure to find something you like.

Please remember: Each hand-knotted persian rug is a one-off piece of unique artwork. So if something catches your eye, be sure to get it before someone else does. Shop Now!

Sarouk Rugs

Sarouk Persian Carpet
Sarouk Persian Carpets

Sarouk Carpets are of a fine compact weave, with mellow colors, often featuring medallion designs. Compatible with traditional or contemporary decor, a Sarouk Rug complements a wide array of rooms, (both large and small), are known for striking color, durability and charm.


Some of our Sarouk Rugs

Mashad Rugs

Traditional Red Mashad
Traditional Red Mashad

Mashad rugs (also spelled: Mashhad or Meshad) typically feature a lone, oversized Shah Abbasi medallion in the center on an elaborate background filled with floral motifs in a curvilinear design. These rugs are usually large with a wool pile and a cotton foundation.

Some of our Mashad Rugs

Balouchi Rugs

Beige Balouchi Rug

Because of Balouchi rug’s nomadic tribal original, you’ll rarely find a large sized Balouch rug. These small rugs have simple geometric patterns and are woven with sheep wool that is dyed blue or dark red. The edges use camel or goat hair in beige or brown.

Some of our Balouchi Rugs

Qum Rugs

Silk and Wool Qum Rug over 700 KPSI
Silk & Wool Qum – over 700 kpsi

Also known as Koum, Kom, Kumm, Qhum, or Ghom, these rugs are woven in the Qum province of Iran. Qum rugs are very high quality. They are tightly knotted, with a luxurious pile of silk or cotton and intricate designs that include a combination of flowers, birds, medallions, hunting scenes and gardens in dark blue, reddish brown or orange. Turquoise is always used in some element in a Qum rug.

Some of our Qum Rugs

Types of Persian Carpets & Rugs

Traditional Persian Rugs
Bijar, Hamadan, Isfahan, Kashan, Kashmar, Kerman, Mahal, Malayer, Mashad, Mehraban, Moud Mashad, Nain, Qum, Sarab, Sarouk, Sultanabad, Tabriz, Zanjan.

Village Persian Rugs
Abadeh, Azerbaijan, Heriz, Jozan, Karaja, Qashqai, Senna.

Nomadic Persian Rugs / Tribal Persian Rugs
Bakhtiari rug, Balouchi, Persian Gabbeh, Quchan Kurdi, Shiraz, Turkoman.

Antique and Modern Oriental Rugs (Persian Style Rugs)
Afghan, Pakistan Bokhara, Pakistan Gabbeh, Kazak, Kilim, Peshawar, including Indian oriental rugs and asian rugs: Indo Gabbeh, Indo Mir, Indo Nepal, Indo Tibetan.

Types of Persian Rugs

Video Transcription: Most of our rugs are Persian Rugs from Iran. We also carry Pakistan rugs (Oriental Rugs), because many of our customers like muted colors. Peshawar Rugs are particularly popular because they blend with almost any color furniture.

Types of Antique Persian Rugs – Iranian rugs are more colorful and they have many patterns, from geometric, hunting, floral, also medallion, Herati design. They have many, many different patterns, colors but they are very traditional colors, not subdued colors like a Pakistani Rug.

Persian Rug DesignsThat’s why we think it’s important to either book an appointment to come and see the rugs in person (at our warehouse) or to schedule a video tour. So you get to see all the different types of persian rug designs available to you.

Types Of Rug PatternsWe have Kazak Rugs, these are more geometric style patterns and very popular with the younger crowd.We have many persian rug sizes, many persian carpet patterns, many colors, and it is kind of art. Each one is unique, different from each other, so it’s really based on your individual taste – and we generally find there is something for everyone. 

Types Of Rugs ColorsIn colder climates or just in general over winter, we all want to stay warm. One of the ways we can do this is obviously with central heating, or an open-fireplace. Another way in which we can make a room look and feel warmer is with the furniture and decoration. With rich colors and earthy types of oriental rugs on the floor and under your feet — you’ll instantly lift the mood of any room and add textures that evoke a sense of comfort and warmth. 

Iranian City Famous For CarpetsEveryone knows the Swiss are famous for their watches and Persian Rugs are known worldwide as synonymous with luxury, style and sophistication. If you’d like to see a sample of the best of the best, go here to the Tabriz Rugs category page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *