Submitted by Ryan McKeown on 1 February, 2007 - 14:14.
There are three different methods of identifying the knot count in Persian Carpets.
The most widely used is KPSI, short for knots per square inch, where the number of knots along the horizontal axis are times by those along the vertical in a measured grid of one square inch.
Alternatively, "Raj" is sometimes used, particularly in rugs from Tabriz and Bijar. Raj denotes the number of rows in a "Gereh" which is 7 cm of weft threads counted vertically. A fine Tabriz rug may have a count of 55 Raj, and a coarser one around 25 Raj and would generally be priced according to these guidelines as well as the general execution of the piece.
Nain rugs are measured differently, by "Laa" which is the term given to the cotton threads in the warp; Nola is a 9 ply warp technically 3 three ply strands corded and is generally among the coarser of Nain output. Shisla is a 6 ply warp technically 3 two ply strands corded, typically dense in structure and finely detailed. Charla is a 4 ply warp technically 2 two ply strands corded, extremely fine, with substantial highlights of silk and seldom produced.
Overall these guidelines are telling of fineness but there are many more factors involved in determining the value of a Persian carpet; such as colour combination, wool quality, age, straightness, clarity and also if the pattern is unusual or the piece was created by a specific Masterweaver, these are all relevant and point to the importance of research and utilizing reliable dealers as a source in selecting a carpet for your home, to which - I would probably stay away from the "Bankruptcy prevention" and "80% off for today only, and maybe tomorrow also" sales of this world.
unusual BakhtiariThe Bakhtiari tribe inhabit the mountainous area of central Iran, west of Isfahan. The carpets produced by these nomadic people fall into two categories: tribal or workshop. Tribal pieces are ornate and coarsely knotted with a wool base and contain traditional tribal motifs. Workshop rugs are distinguished by the fact that they have cotton foundations, colourful floral designs and are created in workshops of various sizes in the hundreds of villages of the Chahar Mahal valley inhabited by the Bakhtiari.
The so–called ‘Garden’ or ‘Garden Tile’ pattern of geometric palettes containing different motifs arranged all over the field are associated with workshop Bakhtiars and rugs with central medallions of ornate shape with motifs of trees and flowers are also common. Vegetable dyes are often used in the colouration and they are woven in the Turkish knot.
This one-of-a-kind modern Bakhtiar has a unique field arrangement of stylized geometric motifs bearing a loose resemblance to tribal masks with hooks and lozenges set into delineated hexagonal panels with perfect symmetry. The vivid colour palette is achieved through the use of natural dyes, which serve to enliven the striking yet naive composition as sea-foam green grounds compliment bolder tones of salmon and navy blue and anchor softer shades of teal, coral and gold. The bordering contains an expressionistic floral arrangement set against midnight blue with a two-headed animal motif that serves almost as a signature at the apex. The three dimensional quality of the design is further enhanced by the rich natural luster to the highland wool pile, I see it as a piece of art as much as a floor covering, imagine how much heart and soul would go into a painting that took six months to complete and the natural dyes echo that as much as the wildly creative composition. The size is 5' x 7'
Submitted by Ryan McKeown on 31 January, 2007 - 12:35.
Semi-Antique SarughSince the nineteenth century Sarugh, a village located in the Arak region of Northwestern Iran, has been pre-eminent in carpet production. The carpets from this area are created in a large variety of sizes and are renowned for their fine quality and durability. Beautifully ornamented Arabesque designs, which are attractively angular and fluid in appearance, are often employed with floral or boteh (pear shaped) motifs also common.
Colouration is typically rich, with rose, blue and orange tones predominant.
Sarugh carpets are very attractive to the North American market due to their high pile and classically lucid designs and they are created in a quality that is medium (200 knots per sq inch) to extremely fine (320 Knots per sq inch).
I love this carpet. Knotted with silk-like Kork wool this stunning Sarugh was knotted sometime between 1910 and 1920, containing a tonality extremely seldom encountered during the time. With an ivory ground and detailing in an array of naturally dyed pastel shades, the palette evokes a look similar to that of the finest carpets created in Laver further to the south of Iran. Four multi hued trees flank an ornate flower medallion that sets the tone for the rich floral detailing that continues out into decorative detached bouquets, like spacious floral explosions sometimes linked with meandering tendrils. The symbiotic arrangement is achieved through the dense symmetry of the central field and distinguished by the powerful and ornate palmettes, interwoven with refined floral detailing rendered in the border as it is elsewehere in the composition. The soft pinks, teals and greens really shine through and further evoke the thematic feel of spring and growth. The cotton foundation adds a stabilty to the soft and luxuriant pile. I am a huge fan of Sarugh carpets, the wool has a different feel, so much richer than often found - but this is something special, please inquire for details. The size is 8'10 x 11'7
Submitted by Ryan McKeown on 17 January, 2007 - 12:00.
Baluchistan: shaded in yellowThe Baluch are a tribal group inhabiting contiguous areas of western Iran and Afghanistan known as Baluchistan. The rugs created by these nomadic people are typically of small dimension and are characteristically thin in structure. With their naively rendered designs encompassing the decorative spectrum it is thought that the Baluchi were introduced to weaving by the Turkomen confederations that passed through this arid landscape and the articles that followed were used functionally as bed covers, saddle bags and floor covers.
Over time the designs have become more stylized and rugs depicted in wildly creative animal and figure designs have become as commonplace as the angular tribal motifs originally found. Alternating tones of red and navy are typical, with ivory and green shades sometimes found. These vibrant shades along with the decorative flair seen in Baluch rugs, provides a counterpoint for the rudimentary knotting techniques, affording them versatility for everyday use.
Submitted by Ryan McKeown on 13 January, 2007 - 03:58.
Domotex ShowfloorDomotex, the annual world trade fair for carpets and floor coverings in Hannover Germany, encompasses the spectrum of carpets and textiles of all types with wholesalers from all over the world exhibiting in twelve convention buildings, each one larger than BC Place.
As you move between the myriad of displays, from rudimentary to complex and ornate there is an air of the carpet bazaar as rugs in all sizes are bought and sold with all the colourful banter you would expect to find in the markets of Tehran. Picking through the thousands of carpets on display is no mean feat as qualities vary greatly, despite the saturation of certain styles.
Reza Nobari: Our buyer at the Tehran bazaarMohammad Nobari: Supplier of our Bijar and Nain carpetsHighlights from this years' trip include a 10' x 14' panelled Tabriz, and severel Loribaft rugs with harmonious colour palettes. In particular, one 6'x 9' Loribaft with alternating shades of navy, ocean blues and teal, contained in symmetrically aligned borders with an overall feel that is soothing yet contemporary, one that you will definitely see displayed on the wall of our gallery.
We will follow up with more information.
Submitted by Sasan Salari on 2 January, 2007 - 20:19.
In order to provide our clients with better in-home service, we have decided to change our gallery opening hours as follows:
Tuesday to Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm
Closed Sundays, Mondays and on Holidays.
The new hours give our clients more flexibility, as we will be able to assist with in-home consultations, pick-ups and deliveries either in the mornings before 11 am or in the evening after 5 pm.
As in the past, if our gallery hours do not suit your schedule, please call us to book an appointment outside of the regular hours.
Submitted by Sasan Salari on 23 December, 2006 - 03:30.
We will be closed for the holiday break from Sunday, December 24th to Monday, January 1st. Our showroom will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!
The staff at Salari Carpets.
Submitted by Ryan McKeown on 21 December, 2006 - 17:39.
Up until the mid Nineteenth Century, Persian carpets were knotted with wool coloured by natural dye-stuffs. This process was considered an artform in itself and the knowledge of extraction was handed down from generation to generation.
A symbiotic relationship exists between the knotted carpet and the dyes themselves as a vessel of expression and the rich, variegated tones produced by the painstaking refinement of root, berry and shell add a soulfulness to that voice.
The process has dwindled over the years as chemical dyes have come to dominate the mainstream but the natural patina and harmonious aura achieved through the use of madder, indigo and saffron and the like cannot be replicated through even the most sophisticated of modern techniques.
The gathering of the crudest of plant forms and their transformation into such brilliant shades and subsequent application seems in keeping with the nomadic lifestyle held by these pastoral farmers, creating functional beauty as they move from arid to fertile landscapes.
The techniques of natural dyes and handspun wool is still used today, albeit alot more selectively. They are still identfiable in Loribaft Gabbeh works and in collections such as Zollanvari and more pointedly Miri, who have worked tirelessly to revive the original applications as part of their carpet rennaiscance. The best illustration is comparitive so please feel free to visit our showroom for further discussion.
Submitted by Sasan Salari on 1 December, 2006 - 09:45.
We have redesigned our site to provide you with better and more timely information about the carpets we carry and the shipments we receive.
We will also be updating this blog page regularly with interesting nuggets from the world of Persian carpets.
Please use the links to the left to browse through samples of our collection.