Types Of Weaves
- FLAT WOVEN CARPETS
Flat Woven Carpets
Flat woven carpets are given their color and pattern from the weft which is tightly intertwined with the warp. Rather than an actual pile, the foundation of these rugs gives them their design. The weft is woven between the warp until a new color is needed, it is then looped back and knotted before a new color is implemented.
The most popular of flat-weaves is called the Kilim. Kilim rugs (along with jewelry, clothing and animals) are important for the identity and wealth of nomadic tribes-people. In their traditional setting Kilim are used as floor and wall coverings, horse-saddles, storage bags, bedding and cushion covers.
Various forms of flat-weaves exist including: Gelim (Kilim), Sirjan, Ikat, Verna, Soumak (Soumakh) and Suzani.
TURKISH AND PERSIAN CARPETS
Turkish & Persian Carpets
The difference between Anatolian (Turkish) and Persian carpets is today largely one of tradition. Typically, a traditional Persian carpet is tied with a single looping knot (Persian or Senneh Knot), while the traditional Anatolian carpet is tied with a double looping knot (Turkish or Ghiordes Knot). This means that for every 'vertical strand' of thread in a carpet, an Anatolian carpet has two loops as opposed to the one loop for the various Persian carpets that use a Persian 'single' knot. Ultimately, this process of 'double knotting' in traditional Anatolian carpets results in a slightly more block like image compared to the traditional 'single knotted' Persian carpet. The traditional Anatolian style also reduces the number of Knots per sq. cm.
Today, it is common to see carpets woven in both Turkey and Iran using either of the two knot styles. When comparing carpets the only way to definitively identify the knot used is to splay open the pile by bending the rug against itself and looking at the base of the knot.
The most expensive carpet of the world is a 17th-century Persian carpet which was sold in June 2013 in a London auction for $33.8m.
- AFGHAN CARPETS
The increasing demand all over the world for Afghan carpets, rugs, as well as killims has stimulated a lively interest in this time-honored craft.
All Turkoman carpets are woven in the north of the country between Maimanah to the west and Kunduz to the east, apart from Syruk carpets which are made in Maruchak and Mauris which are made in and around Herat in the west of Afghanistan.
Most Turkomans in Afghanistan belong to the Ersari tribe, a large ethnic group sub-divided into clans, many of which have their own individual carpet motifs and designs. Perhaps the two best-known designs are the "fil-poi" or elephant's foot, a large octagonal gul and the smaller Tekke gul, or "Bukhara pattern" as it is now called in the trade, and within these motifs there is a wide variety. Other Turkomans who weave carpets in Afghanistan are the Tekkes, Yamouds and Syruk, who all have their distinctive weaves and designs.
The wool used in Turkoman weaving is renowned in the trade for its lustrous and hard-wearing properties. It comes from the famous indigenous breed of Karakul sheep in Ghazny province, which is equally renowned in the fur trade for its Karakul lambskins. Carding and spinning is carried out by hand, by both men and women. The balls of wool are made into skeins which are then dyed, either by the weaver's family in its own compound or by professional dyers in the bazaar. Though aniline dyes have been used since their invention at the turn of the century, there is now a growing tendency among the Turkomans to revert to the use of natural dyestuffs.
The Beloutch and Beloutch-Type Carpet
Herat, in the west of Afghanistan, is the major marketing centre for a wide region where a large and varied production of carpets, rugs and flat-woven pieces, including killims, is woven; goods from this area are traditionally known as Beloutches. Some of the these goods are made by nomads and seminomads, many by people now sedentary who, though not strictly of the Beloutch tribe, have acquired some their techniques while imparting to their work their own tribal charm and rustic character which is so much sough-after today.
The Beloutch production, like that of the Turkoman, is entirely hand made, from shearing and spinning into dyeing and knotting. The Herat Beloutches are all wool as opposed to the Meshed Beloutches from Iran which have cotton warps. A wide variety of both chemical and natural dyestuffs are used.
Weaving, always on a horizontal loom, frequently takes place in the open under a shelter just outside the weaver's tent, and is always done by women and girls who learn this craft when very young.
Silk Road Collections works with the Turkmen tribe in Afghanistan and we purchase our silk rugs in Uzbekestan. These rugs are so much stronger than machine made rugs. The more you walk on them, the better it gets. See our collection of New World Rugs.
- FLYING CARPETS
A magic carpet, also called a flying carpet, is a legendary carpet that can be used to transport persons who are on it instantaneously or quickly to their destination.
One of the stories in the One Thousand and One Nights relates how Prince Husain, the eldest son of Sultan of the Indies, travels to Bisnagar (Vijayanagara) in India and buys a magic carpet. This carpet is described as follows: "Whoever sitteth on this carpet and willeth in thought to be taken up and set down upon other site will, in the twinkling of an eye, be borne thither, be that place nearhand or distant many a day's journey and difficult to reach." The literary traditions of several other cultures also feature magical carpets, in most cases literally flying rather than instantly transporting their passengers from place to place.
Woven into each beautiful, hand-woven Persian and Turkish carpet is a unique special story. Silk Road Collections invites you on an exhilarating journey to the exotic, faraway lands of bygone eras. Begin your adventure by reading our Featured Persian and Turkish carpet stories.