Vintage persian rugs are among the most popular of all antique oriental rugs. Their unfathomable range of design and cultural influences creates a unique and powerful aesthetic, one that is widely admired and incorporated into contemporary interiors by major taste makers and top decorators alike.
The enduring beauty of Persian rug designs lies in the effortless fluidity and timeless style that they convey. Ancient geometric principles that dictate form, proportion and the angles of spiraling curves are adhered to flawlessly in these antique rugs. The resulting carpets are replete with lush botanical patterns and perfectly proportioned elements that are so distinctive, that they have become synonymous with a certain class of classic luxury.
In addition to utilizing the finest materials and precise weaving techniques, many of these rugs feature a stunning color palette that is unlike any other. This unique color scheme is made possible by the use of multiple dyes, each applied with a painstaking process, to achieve precise and balanced hues that are both dimensional and visually appealing.
Typically, a single rug could take months or even years to weave. This is because a typical antique rug is hand-knotted, with each knot taking an average of 14 hours to complete. The quality of the loom and yarn also contributes to the length of time it takes for a rug to be completed. The higher the KPSI, or knots per square inch, the longer it will take to weave.
Persian rug designs are incredibly diverse and range from intricate floral motifs to geometric patterns that are the result of the Persian knot technique. The Persian knot is the most common, and it consists of passing thread between two warps, looping under one, wrapping around both and then pulling the thread through the center to tie the two together. The knots are then arranged in such a way that the rug is balanced, with no visible gaps or voids.
The weavers of antique Persian rugs were highly skilled craftsmen and were often multi-talented individuals that worked as both designers and weavers. This was especially true in the cities, where rug weavers typically worked for a particular design house or for a court official. Weavers in the villages generally designed for themselves and their tribe. Their work was a part of their identity, so weavers used design symbols to tell stories or to convey specific meanings. For example, the boteh symbol in a rug may represent eternity or flame.
Some of the most impressive examples of Persian weaving were produced by master weavers known as “Masters.” These artisans were able to produce a limited number of pieces for a short period of time, and they are now prized as collector’s items. They are also important investment pieces because of the high level of craftsmanship and materials used. These pieces are generally large in size and have very detailed, complex designs. Typically, the colors of these rugs are more muted than those found in traditional Persian carpets.