Persian Rugs: The Artistic Significance


Old Persian Yalameh Rug

Old Persian Yalameh Rug

For ages, Persian rugs have been a symbol of the art, history, and romance of ancient civilizations. In spite of so much improvement in technology used to produce machine-made carpets, hand-woven rugs have maintained their place as an attractive, masterful, and valuable product. The art of rug weaving has continued its rich and noble life as a symbol of the genuine heritage of the skillful Persian artisans. Hand-knotted Persian rugs satisfy aesthetic feelings as well as practical needs. Their merit as a gorgeous and decorative addition to the home is matched by their value as a safe and constantly increasing investment. Today, there are greater numbers of people who wish to own an authentic piece of Persian rug all over the world.

The popularity of Persian rugs, new or antique, remains undisputable. They will forever be prized for their individual and unique quality. Each rug is the product of a centuries-old cultural heritage particular to its originating village, district, or tribe. Due to the existence of so many diverse cultures, having their roots in the tribal and regional traditions, there are endless patterns and motifs used in Persian rugs. As a result, there has been a rising amount of rugs produced in other countries imitating Persian designs. In fact, such production has become a major occupation for so many weavers throughout the world. While the value of genuine pieces of handmade rugs tend to appreciate over time, poor imitations, like any other ordinary floor covering, lose their value over time.

The rich nature of the country has always provided the best quality of wool, cotton, and silk to be used by Persian weavers. The long-staple wool of the sheep raised in highlands creates unique qualities of spinnability, flexibility, and resistance against compression. The colors of natural material, such as insects and plants, enable Persian rugs to retain their brilliant shades as they age. The experienced dyers carry on the glorious traditions of the past in order to create magnificent and durable colors that will beautify any environment. Likewise, the weaving itself has been kept close to traditions of the past as the installation of a loom in private homes is not merely a means of providing financial profits, but is also aimed towards the enjoyment of the whole family. While large city workshops were an important factor in the past, much of today’s production of rugs is carried out along cottage industry lines in smaller villages and towns. The buyer of a Persian rug not only delights of its beauties on the floor, but also owns a treasured heirloom which can be passed down to the next generations.

Just to name a few of its numerous advantages, the rug industry adds an exceptionally high value to otherwise low-value materials, creates jobs for thousands of people in remote regions, promotes artistic works of art, improves quality of life in rural areas, and encourages exports to make a more self-sufficient population. Hopefully, the ever-increasing market demand for hand-knotted rugs will sustain the originality of this wonderful tradition thereby also supporting the livelihood of a large number of artisans in many different countries.

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