As one of the oldest styles of oriental rug, the Persian rug is a wonderful investment bursting with culture and history.
Persian rugs are of an incredibly high quality with the Persian people being known as the best carpet markets in the world. But buying the right rug is no easy fete.
How Persian rugs are made
When shopping for the perfect Persian carpet, it’s vital you find an authentic, handmade piece that’s durable for high-traffic areas. Persian rugs make great area rugs for the master bedroom or living space, while runners can be used in the kitchen or hallway.
Most Persian rugs, and other oriental carpets, use wool, cotton and silk to create a dense and rich material. The most popular combination is cotton and wool, as it creates a strong and durable carpet that doesn’t lose it shape. Wool can be spun into incredibly fine and strong threads, so that the carpet
master can create beautifully intricate designs.
The rug makers of Persia often learn the art of carpet making through the older generations. Families are often responsible for the full rug making process; from farming the and sheering the sheep for wool, to dyeing the strands with colours made from local fruit and vegetables.
Persian rugs can take months to create, and are made using the same methods traditionally used: Hand knotting. These carpets are made using the Senneh knot which passes through a woolen strand within the warp, over and around the next strand. This is a simple knot which means the pile can be built within
Depending on how intricate the design is, a rug can consist of hundreds of thousands of knots and take a lifetime to make. Patterns are created from the rug maker’s mind as they go along, or recreated from a drawing map before starting.
When the rug is finished, it goes through several courses of washing. The multi-washing process ensures any loose threads, dust and dirt caught in the pile is removed, and also stabilizes the dyes. It’s this process that allows the colours to stay bright and bold throughout the rug’s life cycle. You’ll find an investment in a Persian rug will be an investment for life. After years of use, your rug will age or fade elegantly – providing an authentic and vintage feel for the home.
A simple way to gauge whether a rug is handmade is by checking the underside of the carpet. Handmade rugs will have the same pattern on either side, while machine made rugs are often based on a block colour polymer sheet.
You can also check the quality of the rug by bending the rug back to expose the roots of the pile. Here you should be able to see the knots used to create the pattern.
Persian Rugs: Patterns & Meaning
The beauty of Persian rugs comes from their historic and cultural influences. Carpet masters create wonderfully detailed designs, and would use the carpets to record events in history, religion and even their own love stories.
The stories are portrayed through floral, animal and person motifs as well as geometric and cursive patterns, with a blue or red colour scheme. Sometimes both.
One of the most common patterns for Persian rugs is the prayer arch, which is typically found on traditional prayer rugs, which also work as beautifully cultural highlights within the living space.
Other traditional designs include vases, weeping willows and flower filled forests. For rugs made in Isfahan, Qum and Tabriz, the ‘tree of life’ pattern is popular for signifying eternal life – making it the perfect design for anyone looking to add a little spiritualism to their interior.
Persian Carpets in the Modern Home
The world of Persian carpets is vast, and at first glance, they can seem difficult to dress within the modern home due to their bright and bold colour schemes.
In actual fact, Persian rugs are a great starting point, to co-ordinate with more muted soft furnishing and furniture.
These beautiful, oriental rugs can be used on their own as an area rug, or layered with other carpets for a bright interior, filled with character.
When choosing the perfect rug for your space, you should first measure the room and consider any furniture that you currently have. Do you want the rug to frame the furniture, or sit in the middle?
Understanding how you would like your rug to sit will allow you to choose the right size for your room.
It’s also worth considering patterns and motifs you might want to incorporated. Floral motifs can be incredibly busy and will need to be paid with plainer furnishings to balance out the room. However, there are also much plainer Persian rugs – like the Gabbeh rug, or Qashqai Kilim - and can be paired
with brighter cushions, curtains or furniture.
As Persian rugs have a short pile, they also make great wall hangings to bring warmth and personality into a plain interior. Make sure to use a secure fixture to hang the rug, to prevent damage.
Caring for Persian Rugs
Persian rugs are generally incredibly durable when it comes to high traffic areas of the home. However, if you find the rug has become a little grubby, you can hoover the tops with a standard vacuum.
If you are moving house, or need to store your rug away, it is important to pack the rug in an air-tight and waterproof bag to prevent it becoming damage from suffering from mildew build up and damp.
As these rugs use natural dyes, they are prone to fading after long exposure to sunlight. Prevent your rug from aging or fading equally, it is a good idea to regularly turn your carpet around so that different areas are in the sun. This will keep the colour consistent across the whole rug.
For more information about any of our rugs, or to understand how to care for your rug, do not heistate to contact us.