Area Rug Guide: Kerman Rugs


Turning any room into a conversation starter-whether in a formal work setting or a casual family bonding may begin with having a finely made area rug. Kerman area rugs are famous for their soft texture, fine quality, and lively details that are overwhelming enough to evoke the right mood in your room. 

Rug Origin and History 

The city of Kerman, the capital of Kerman Province in south-central Iran, is an arid and relatively isolated land. The province is said to be home to about 60,000 people. However, many experts believed that its dry climate has encouraged the flourishing of arts such as the production of handwoven Kerman rugs and shawl or scarves as people’s livelihood rather than agriculture since the early 1500s. Despite its location, it is an unavoidable trail for traders passing through the Silk Road, making the city a vibrant trading and weaving center for these masterpieces. These rugs were also seen first adorning the homes of wealthy people in Persia. 

Among Persian rugs, Kerman is definitely one for the books. The outstanding craftsmanship it exudes has earned the appreciation of historical icons as evidenced by their stories. Marco Polo, world famous merchant, explorer and writer, is said to be the first Westerner to admire the fine Kerman rugs when he visited the city in 1271. He described the carpets and other textiles to have intricate embroidery and needlework with details of flowers, trees, and animals like birds woven using colorful threads.

Kerman rugs were also documented by Western scholar Sir John Chardin in his comprehensive ten-book series about Persia and the Near East in the late 17th century. He noted that the carpets handwoven in Kerman are of the finest quality among Persian rugs. 

These narratives of personal encounters with Kerman rugs have helped it gain popularity starting the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty up to this day. Aside from Europe and America, it has also been exported to different countries like China, India, and Anatolia.

Patterns, Designs, and Colors

Antique Kerman 90666

The distinctive mark of an authentic antique Kerman rug is the presence of vase designs referred to as boteh within the intervals of huge curvilinear floral ornaments, leaves, and palmettes, and other known Persian motifs covering the whole carpet. Because of this, Kerman rugs are often called vase carpets. It is the prominent carpet motif in the late 16th to mid- 17th century or during the Safavid rule. This is also based on the paisley or the Boteh Motif of the Kerman scarves. When the scarf production declined, these were carried over by the handweavers in the commercial production of the rugs. 

Some Kerman rugs are designed with sabsizar, a notable nature theme that features flowers, waterfalls, gardens, trees, and rivers, among others. Aside from that, traditional Kerman rugs are also embroidered with medallions and ornate borders framing these elaborate details. Innovative designs have emerged to cater to modern homes but its traditional patterns remain to be its best selling point. 

Another most sought after but rarely seen design of Kerman area rugs is attributed to the people of Lavar in Kerman Province. The fine Lavar style often has pictorials describing an important person or significant historical event, aside from the florals, vases, and gardens. 

Antique Kerman 75296

Western and European rug collectors and owners are mostly drawn to its superior quality material and durable construction. The Kerman rugs are made from soft Carmania wool with cotton as its foundation. Other combinations of materials include all wool, all silk, or an almost equal amount of both. Kerman handweavers are said to employ asymmetrical tight Persian knots or an average of 120 to 800 knots per square inch, making it denser than other rugs produced around the area. They also developed their own special handweaving techniques that help them achieve a sturdy result.

The range of colors used in making these area rugs also add to their versatility, elegance, and character. From the traditional colors of most Persian rugs such as red and blue to about thirty other colors. Among the most common hues include different tones of burgundy, beige, copper, varieties of blues, greens, and sometimes, gold.  These types of rugs are usually produced in large sizes up and come in squares or rectangles.

Why Choose Kerman Rugs

A Kerman rug is an exciting element to spruce up your room. It’s one of the most desirable among Persian rugs for having a really fine quality and excellent durability. The classic Persian patterns come in a variety of colors that make it easy to mix and match with virtually all types of interior design, be it the living room, bedroom, studio, and even offices for a more formal appeal. Its central medallion designs and intricate borders make it a perfect centerpiece and can help you pull off a cohesive look of whatever theme you choose for your space.

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