Persian Carpet
Persian Carpet

All You Need to Know About Persian Carpets















The History of Persian carpet

The emblem of Persian history and culture is the Persian carpet. The culture of a nation that spans thousands of years is exhibited within every knot of the Persian carpet. The Pazyryk carpet is the oldest surviving Persian carpet. A group of archeologists excavated it in Pazyryk Valley in Russia.

Archeologists believe that the Pazyryk carpet is an imported Persian rug that dates back to the Medes or Parthian Empire. The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg in Russia is currently the home to the Pazyryk carpet.



What is the difference between a Persian Rug and a Persian Carpet?

The first thing you need to know about Persian carpets is to differentiate them from other types of floor coverings, including the Persian rug. The terms “carpet” and “rug” are often used interchangeably to denote floor coverings of all kinds. However, it is essential to have the ability to distinguish the differences between these two.

Persian carpets are floor coverings that often extend from wall to wall and cover the entire floor area, and they are usually larger than rugs. Furthermore, carpets have a second layer that adds volume to the carpet, making it heavier and harder to move around. The carpet can maintain its position on the floor because of its second layer that helps it take the shape of the space it covers.  

Persian carpets have a large set of patterns. They have vibrant and bright colors that make them look like a painting on the ground. Each pattern details a tale specific to an era in the Persian Empire. Due to their exquisite nature and aesthetic attributes, Persian carpets are usually more expensive than Persian rugs.




On the other hand, Persian rugs are smaller and you can move them easily. Often, no second layer is used in crafting Persian rugs, making them much lighter. However, in contrast to Persian carpets, Persian rugs cannot maintain their position on the ground. You can use anti-slip mats are used to help them maintain their position. Within urban Persian rugs, often botanical patterns are employed; trees, vegetables, and flowers.

The rugs crafted in villages showcase the history and culture of their tribes.




How Do I Know if my Carpet is Persian?

P.R.J. Ford in Oriental Carpet Design: A Guide to Traditional Motifs, Patterns and Symbols states the following in the best approach to carpet and rug identification:

If a rug’s origin is not clear at a glance, it must be deduced by a process of elimination: taking account of such features as the structure, the materials used, the size and shape, and the color, as well as the design. At the (…) basic level, there are various simple criteria: (…) ‘all of Hamadan village rugs are single-wefted. (If) the rug is double-wefted; therefore, it is not a Hamadan.’ (15)

While Ford believes that it takes a keen eye and highly skilled mind to determine the origin of the carpets, in his book, he gives instructions to help us in the process of identification.


Knotting Techniques of Handmade Carpets

The most significant factor in distinguishing Persian carpets from other regions’ carpets is the knotting technique and the number of knots per square meter. One of the most celebrated carpets in the world, the Tabriz carpet, has a knot density of more than 1,000,000 knots per square meter. The illustration on the right exhibits the difference between Persian and Turkish knotting techniques.












The first thing you need to learn about Persian carpets is their distinguished patterns. The following illustration showcases the patterns of Persian Shah Abasi carpets in contrast with the Rumanian carpets.

As indicated in the picture, the numbers 1 and 2 showcase Persian carpets, and the numbers 3 and 4 exhibit their geometrical patterns. Number 5 (the carpet on the right) showcases a Rumanian hunting design carpet. Visit this page to learn more about various patterns of Persian carpets and rugs.


P.R.J. Ford states the following about the material used in most carpets, including Persian carpets:

Most knotted rugs have a woolen pile, but the pile may also consist of other animal fibers such as mohair, goat hair, camel hair, or cow hair. Silk-pile rugs are made in some places, and artificial silk and cotton are (…) sometimes found. Mixtures (e.g. part wool, part camel hair, or part wool, part silk) are not uncommon. The warps and wefts of pile rugs are normally wool or cotton but goat hair is also found in tribal goods, and the finest rugs sometimes have silk warps. (16)


How Much Does a Persian Carpet Cost?


Several criteria are taken into account to estimate the price of a Persian rug: the age of the carpet (the antiquated Persian rugs are mostly more expensive), knot count, knot density, the materials used in the carpet (silk carpets are mostly more expensive), the complexity of the pattern, and the size. The cheapest of Persian carpets cost almost 400 dollars. A fine Persian carpet made in Kerman is priced roughly at 5000 dollars and more. Visit this page to learn more about the factors involved in pricing Persian carpets.


Why are Persian Carpets so Expensive?


Persian carpets are valued worldwide for their cultural, artistic, and aesthetic values. Hand-woven Persian carpets are expensive. Why? The following factors justify the high price of Persian carpets:


  1. It often takes months and even years to craft a Persian carpet. At times, it takes years to craft a Persian carpet because of its knot count. A fine Tabriz Persian carpet is crafted with more than 1,000,000 knots per square meter.
  2. Persian carpets are made of top-quality materials to make the carpets last for years. As stated above, the oldest ever survived Persian carpet dates back to the Medes Empire in 678 B.C. which can only attest to the distinguished quality of the materials used in these carpets.
  3. In Persian carpets, only natural dyes are used. The vibrant and bright color of Persian carpets that does not fade away upon washing is created due to the natural dyes used in these carpets. Since highly rare vegetables and flowers are used to make these dyes, Persian carpets are priced higher than other carpets.


How to Buy a Persian Carpet?


Before buying a Persian carpet, take into account all the following elements:


  1. Pattern: Persian carpets are known for their distinguished patterns. Use the guide provided in this article to distinguish Persian carpets from other carpets.
  2. Knot count: The value of a Persian carpet increases based on its knot density. Make sure to check the knot density of the carpet.
  3. Color: Persian carpets are known for their bright and vibrant colors. A fine Persian carpet maintains its natural color even after washing. If you see a rug with blurry colors, don’t buy it.
  4. Price: when buying a Persian carpet, you need not be frugal at all. Although, it is important to determine a price that you can afford, never try to compromise on the carpet you want to buy because of its price. Persian carpets rise in value as they age, and buying a Persian carpet can be one of the best investments you have ever made.

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