Hamadan Rugs: Village, Hand-Woven Rugs in 3000 Different Styles
Hamadan rugs are hand-woven, high quality village rugs that are manufactured in and around the city of Hamadan in western Iran. Unlike most other rugs that refer to a particular type from one province or city, the term Hamadan actually refers to a wide variety of rugs that are woven across a vast region. The whole rug weaving region comprises of about 1500 separate and distinct villages in and around the city of Hamadan. Each of these villages produces on average 2 different styles of rugs, with some villages producing more than that. What this means is that there are about 3,000 different varieties of Hamadan rugs. What’s particularly interesting is that although all of the rugs produced in these regions are called Hamadan rugs, the materials differ quite a bit because the wool has been obtained from sheep across so many different regions and the designs also differ because of the varying influences in each of the regions.
With its ideal location right on a road junction in the valley of the ‘Kuh-i-Elwand’ in northwest Iran, Hamadan has long been an important rug weaving and rug marketing center with all of the villages and towns in the surrounding region producing different varieties and sizes of rugs and runners for export. The whole region for miles and miles around is dotted with a host of spinning mills, knotting shops, dye works and laundries that specialize in rugs.
Construction Of Hamadan Rugs
The wool used in the construction of Hamadan rugs is obtained from hardy sheep that graze at high altitudes of the area. This wool is very durable and the knotting is hearty and robust, both of which lend to the long lasting quality of these rugs. Hamadan rugs are typically single wefted and most of them have a cotton foundation. Older pieces are often tied on wool warp, which is in contrast to today’s rugs with their cotton warp.
One thing common in all Hamadan rugs is that they all have symmetric knots and are thickly woven with densities of about 40 to 100 knots per square inch. While all of the rugs that come under the umbrella name of Hamadan rugs are characterized by excellent wool and color quality, you will find that there is a vast difference in the knotting techniques that are used in the different weaving regions.
Hamadan Rug Patterns
Rugs from each of the Hamadan village rugs have their own very distinctive designs which are recognizable to the expert eye. The patterns vary from floral and geometric to overall Herati designs.
The majority of Hamadan rugs have a geometric pattern. The most common designs that can be seen on most rugs from this region consist of the medallion-and-corner design or the all-over boteh or herati designs. Hexagonal shaped and diamond shaped medallions are common. Often the all-over herati designs have a narrow field in the shape of a large octagon. There are many variations each with its own unique characteristic features.
Hamadan rugs make a wonderful household accessory and are in great demand especially because of their excellent quality, high durability and long lasting colors.