What is it with Persian Carpets and Rugs?

Persia, home to the finest woven carpets and rugs.

Persian carpets and rugs are highly popular all over the world due to their high quality and intricate designs. The art of carpet weaving has been an integral part of Iranian culture since ancient times, and is considered an artistic legacy. It would not be wrong to say that Persian rugs and carpets are the culmination of Iran’s cultural and artistic excellence.

The history of Persian carpets can be traced back to at least 2500 years. Iranians are considered the pioneers of the art of carpet weaving. The art has been developed and refined through centuries and the skills have been passed down through generations and as a result of hundreds of years of ingenuity and creativity, Persian carpets and rugs have achieved their unique excellence.

Map of Persia

Carpet and rug making started in Persia, during ancient times, in order to provide the nomadic tribesmen with a covering that they could use to protect themselves from cold and also to cover their floors and entrances. But, due to the finesse with which they were made and their intricate designs, Persian carpets and rugs became popular among the nobles and kings, with time. As a result, they became signs of prestige and wealth.

According to some historians, Cyrus the Great was probably the one who introduced the art of carpet making in Persia, after he conquered Babylon in 539 BC. However, other historical records show that the court of Cyrus the Great was adorned by magnificent carpets.

The art of carpet and rug making reached its peak in Persian in the 16th century, during the times of Safavid Dynasty. Numerous carpets and rugs that were produced during this era have been preserved and are on display in museums, all over the world.

North Italian School, Seventeenth Century showing a Persian Rug on Table.

Shah Abbas, who ruled Persia from 1587 to 1629, was the one who established a court workshop for making carpets using silk and threads of gold and silver. He was also the leader who promoted trade with Europe. This period of carpet making came to an end when Afghans invaded Persia in 1722. From this period till 1747, the industry of carpet making saw a decline and the art was increasingly limited to individual craftsmen in villages and nomads.

Carpet and rug making and its trade regained its position in Iran during the last quarter of the 19th century. During this time,  art flourished and Tabriz merchants started to export Persian carpets to Europe via Istanbul.

At present, carpet making is the most widespread and popular craft in Iran and Persian carpets are known and appreciated all over the world for their highest quality, intricate designs and finest quality.

Nicholas Wells Antique has some amazing variety of Persian carpets. Take a look by clicking here.