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shiraz has been known for centuries as the city of roses, which is reflected in the motifs of many of the carpets. However, the most common motif, and one by which the carpets may be identified, is the diamond-shaped lozenge by itself in the centre of the Carpet or repeated along the length twice or three times according to the size.

The diamond motif of the shiraz carpets is usually in light or dark blue and the background is normally red with decorations of stylised plants and flowers.
The border consists of a number of narrow bands framing a wider band, which is often decorated with motifs resembling pine, or palm leaves.

The shiraz carpets are very soft and it is advisable that only the best are used on the floor, to protect them against wear and tear.

Among the better-known individual tribal carpets are those made by the Qashqai, living in the uplands of the Fars area. In contrast to other shiraz carpets these are harder wearing, and have a compact pile.
Their ...see more colours are also faster and more varied.
The warp and weft threads of the shiraz carpets are either wool or goat's hair, and they come in all sizes; 4 ft by 2 ft 6ins, 5 ft by 4 ft, 7 ft by 5 ft, and 10 ft by 7 ft.
Square shiraz carpets can also be found.
There are six types of rugs in Fars province including: Rural, Khamseh, Qashqa'i Mamasani, Bulvardi & Shirazi rugs.
Qahqa'i people weave a kind of rug (Tork-e Shirazi) which is called Mak-eye Shirazi is Western (foreign) Markets.
These Persian rugs have the common Orange desgins with dark colors such as: dark blue & dark red.
Persian Carpets
The best known Iranian cultural export, the persian Carpet, is far more than just a floor-covering to an Iranian. A persian Carpet or rug is a display of wealth, an investment, an integral part of religious and cultural festivals, and used in everyday life, eg as a prayer mat.
Carpets have long been used as a form of currency, and weaving new carpets is a kind of savings account, which can be sold off in times of need.
History
The earliest known Persian Carpet, which probably dates back to the 5th century BC, was discovered in a remote part of Siberia, clearly indicating that carpets were made in Persia more than 2500 years ago.
Historians know that by the 7th century AD Persian carpets made of wool or silk had become famous in court circles throuthout the region. Their quality and subtlety of design were renowned, and carpets were exported to places as far away as China, though for many centuries they must have remained a great luxury in their country of production, with the finest pieces being teh preserve of royalty.
The early patterns were usually symmetrical with geometric and floral motifs desgined to evoke the beauty of the classical Persian garde. Towards the end fo the pre-Islamic period, stylised animal and human figures (especially royalty) became a dominant design element.
After the Arab Conquest, Quranic verses were incorporated into some Carpet desgins, and prayer mats began to be produced on a grand scale; secular carpets also became a major industry and were highly prized in however, and little is known of early methods of weaving and knotting, or of differences in regional styles.
The classification of existing pieces is often arbitrary.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Carpet making was given a high level of royal patronage and a favoured desginer or weaver could expect great privileges.
Sheep were specifically bred to grow the finest possible wool fro weaving, and vegetable plantations were tended with scientific precision to provide permanent dyes of just the right shade.
The reign of Shah Abbas marks the peak of Persian Carpet production, when the qulity of the raw materials and all aspects of the desgin and weaving were brought to a level never seen before or since, perhaps anywhere.
Towards the end of the 17th century, as demand for Persian carpets grew, so standards of production began to fall and desgins tended to lack inspiration.
A long period of stagnation followed, but the fall in standards has to be later still often led the world in quality and design. The reputation of modern Persian carpets has still not entirely recovered from the near-sacrilegious introduction of artificial fibres and dyes earlier this century.
Persian Carpets Today
Persian carpets are a huge export eamer for Iran (see the Economy section in Facts about Iran for more details), but there are problems: weaving by looms, which made Persian carpets so special, are being supplanted by moderm factories; young Iranians are not interested in learning the traditional methods, of weaving; and cheaper, often blatantly copied, versions of Persian carpets are being produced in India and Pakistan (where child labour is sometimes used, but not in Iran).
Iran is heavily promoting the prestige thet the term Persian carpets still evokes, recently recapturing a large slice of the world's trade in carpets and rugs.
While some authorities hope that the export of Persin carpets and rugs from Iran will top Us$ 17 billion per year by 2020 pragmatists concede that the costs of making genuine hand-made Persian carpets and rugs will increases to a point where consumers (mainly westerners) will be more happy ing them in a local museum than forking out good money to buy them.
Types of Carpets & Rugs
Persian carpets and rugs often come in three sizes: the mian farsh Carpet is up to 3 m long and up to 2.5 m wide, the kellegi Carpet is about 3.5m long and nearly 2 m wide, and the Kenareh Carpet is up to 3 m long and 1 m wide.
They are made from one of three basic materials. The best is wool (from sheep and goats, and occasionally camels), though the quality of wool does varies from one region to another.
Cotton is cheaper and easy to use than wool; silk is mainly used fro decorative rugs, as silk is not practical fro everyday use.
Modern desgings are either symbolic or religious (eg a lamp, indicating the inspired by whatever surrounds the weaver, eg trees, animals and flowers (particularly the lotus, rose, and chrysanthemum).
Common desgins include mini-bota, the leaf pattern also found in rugs made in northern India, and probably a forerunner to the paisley patterns found in the west.
One different type of rug you may come across is the kilim, a double-sided fiat-woven mat, without knots. These rugs are thinner and softer than other knotted carpets, and rarely used as floor coverings.
They are popular as prayer mats (kilim is Turkish for prayer mat) and wall-hangings.
Making Carpets & Rugs
Most handmade carpets are made from wool. The wool is spun, usually by hand, and then rinsed, washed and dried. It is then lovingly dyed, making sure there's an even colour throughout the rug.
In times gone past, dyes were extracted from natural sources such as herbs, skins of locaf fruit and vegetables and plants (eg indigo for blue, madder for red, and reseda fro yellow).
These days, however, chemical dyes are used, mainly aniline (which does sometimes fade) and chrome. After the rug has been made, it is then washed again to enhance the natural colours, though sometimes chemicals are used in the washing process.
Nomad Carpet - weavers (usually women) use horizontal looms, which are lightweight and transportable. Carpets and rugs made by nomads are less detailed and refined because their equipment is not so sophisticated, but the quality of wool is often high, though sometimes a little uneven.
Designs are usually unique, and conjured up by memory, or made up as they go along. These carpets and rugs are mainly weaved fro domestic use, or for occasional trade, and are necessarily small because they must be carried by the nomads.
In the villages, small workshops (with men and women) have simple, upright looms, which create better designs, more variety, and extras such as fringes.
Desgins are usually standard, however, or copied from existing carpets or designs. In recent times, city factories have supplanted nomadic weavers and village workshops, producing carpets of monotonous design and variable quality - and most rourists won't know the difference.
Knots
You may come across the terms Persian (or Senneh) Knot' (known in Farsi as a farsi-baf) and Turkish (or Ghiordes) Knot' (turki-baf). Both are used in Iran: the Turkish knot is common in the Azzarbayejan provinces and western Iran.
Without getting too technical, the Turkish knot is looped around two horizontal threads, with the yam lifted between them, while the Persian knot loops around one horizontal thread, and under the next.
The difference is not obvious to the layman.
As a rough guide, an everyday Carpet or rug will have up to 30 knots per sq cm, a medium-grade piece 30 to 50 knots per sq cm, and a fine one 50 knots per sq cm or more.
On a real prize piece you might have 500 or more knots per sq cm, but nowadays a museum is the only place you will find such an attempt at perfection.
The higher number of knots per sq cm, the better the quality - and, of course, the higher number of knots per sq cm, the better the quality - and, of course, the higher the price.
A nomadic weaver can tie around 8000 knots each day; a weaver in a factory, about 12000 knots per day, To find out how long the Carpet or rug took to make (a big factor in the cost), determine the size of the rug; ask where it was made (by hand or in a factory); and use a calculator.
Reference : eshiraz.ir - unesco.org - artarena.force9.co.uk -
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