Thank you to guest poster Shakaz
Historically, Persia has flourished in the industry of carpet making with the largest production centres being Tabriz (between 1500 and 1550), Kashan (between 1525 and 1650), Herat (between 1525 and 1650) and Kerman (between 1600 and 1650). The Persian rug is perhaps the greatest cultural contribution by the Persian people to the world of art. These rugs are woven in Persia which is the modern day Iran.
Persian rugs represent some of the finest textile products that have been ever produced. Each piece represents beauty and uniqueness due to the complex nature of the art involved as well as the quality of the materials used. Oriental rugs on the other hand represent those rugs that have been created elsewhere in Asia. The production region for oriental rugs ranges from Cyprus to East Asia (China, Turkey and Vietnam). It also includes India in the South and Caucasus in the North.
Persian Rugs are or were made by skilled artisans in Iran using a single looping knot. The Turkish people also make Turkish rugs, but in their case they use a double looping knot. These rugs are mostly made from wool. The most common wool types used are Kork wool, camel hair wool and Manchester wool. Consider yourself lucky if you get a silk Persian rug. In fact, take good care of it as they are quite rare.
Many new rugs today are made from silk blends, synthetic fibres and mercerized cotton. So that you don't confuse these other rugs with the Persian rug, you should locate the label at the back to ensure it is made in Iran. These rugs are made using specific design layouts that have lasted many generations. The four typical patterns include the allover layout, the one sided layout, the compartment layout and the centered medallion. They also come with a motif which has a meaning or relates to the region it was made.
Rugs made from other parts of Asia exclcuding Iran are referred to as oriental rugs. Authentic oriental rugs are usually hand knotted. You should be able to differentiate them from the hand tufted rugs made in Middle Eastern countries. The difference between the two is that the hand knotted rugs are much prettier than the hand tufted ones. The design of the hand tufted rug is placed on a canvas with the worker filling in the patterns using a hand operated gun. This gun tool pushes the strands of wool right into the canvas. The canvas is then glued with a backing at the back to ensure it doesn't come apart.
Making a single piece Persian or oriental rug can take months or even years depending on the size and quality of the rug. The finer the rug, the more the KPSI it contains and hence the longer it will take to create. In most cases, many people will work together on the same rug side by side. This is one of the reason these rugs come with a very deep appeal and quality that is unrivalled. When planning to acquire either a Persian rug or oriental rug, it's wise to know the features to look out for so that you get value for your money. These products are of higher value and quality when compared to other rugs.