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Area Rug Guide: Tabriz Rugs

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Antique Persian Tabriz rug in pristine condition.

Tabriz rugs are among the oldest Persian handwoven rugs that are valued not only for their designs but also for their craftsmanship. It’s an important piece to have for any antique rug collector because of its sheer beauty and ability to spice up any room; it’s a piece of history and impeccable artistry in your home. A spread of a Persian Tabriz area rug on your floor is undeniably a great way to make any person feel special every time they walk into your room.

Rug History and Origin

Intricate floral and botanical details make the Tabriz rug a great centerpiece in virtually any room.

The Tabriz rug, as its name suggests, hails from Tabriz. It is the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province in northwest Iran and near the Turkey border. Rug weaving in Tabriz dates back thousands of years ago. However, historians agree that its production was at its peak around the 12th century to 16th century. A great demand for this kind of rug came mainly from customers in European and Western countries.

According to some rug experts, the Tabriz rugs have gone through several significant developments and evolution in their long history, from the antique rugs, the Taba Tabriz introduced around the 1970s, and the current Tabriz rug beginning after the 1980s. They all differ in the materials used, colors, motifs, and the weave, among others. However, the Taba Tabriz and the current Tabriz rugs are two of the more recognizable types.

Pattern, Design, and Colors

Owning a Persian Tabriz area rug in your home would earn you the admiration of rug collectors and enthusiasts. It is eminent for the stories behind its motifs, the kind of material, and its solid construction.

The designs and patterns in Tabriz rugs, just like its Persian rug cousins, usually range from medallions, pictorial, figural, and notable Herati (stylized rosette inside a diamond and surrounded by seemingly acanthus leaves) or Mahi (fish) designs. There were also variations of florals, swirls or arabesques, and vines.

But some historians say skillful Tabriz rug weavers also take design inspirations from poems of the Oriental poets and book covers, especially during the 19th century. The products of their interpretations such as depictions of falconry, lions, hunting, palaces, mosques, and battle scenes are often evident in the modern Tabriz rugs. The most recent ones already have geometric patterns. Other popular motifs include farming during the four seasons. There were also images of weeping willows to symbolize love, oaks for courage and strength, and pomegranate for luck and abundance. In some cases, the master weavers sign their crafts on its borders.

Fine Tabriz rugs are either made of silk, cotton, or soft, pure wool, or a combination of these threads. Antique Tabriz usually use threads in tan, rust, rich jewel tones, or pastels. Some accounts revealed that navy blue and deep red threads were also used. With the introduction of the Taba Tabriz, the hues expanded to ivory, bright orange, celery greens, and pale blue. Softer greens, blues, and brown appeared in the most recent rugs. It was adjusted to suit the taste of its European and Western market. Its sizes range from medium to large and have also taken shapes other than rectangles as some rugs come in circles, triangles, hexagons, and octagons.

What set the Tabriz rug even further apart from other Persian rugs is the way it was woven. The weavers of this rug employ the Turkish or symmetrical knot. This is because Tabriz City is mostly inhabited by Turkic people after having been the capital of the Turkish Empire.

However, rug aficionados value the Tabriz rug based on the tightness of strings or the number of knots in a rug. They measure it in raj or rajah that is equivalent to the number of knots in every 7 cm width. The ideal raj for a good Tabriz rug is between 24 to 110 or 120 to 850 knots per square inch. It dictates the rigidity and fineness of the final product, an indication of superior quality.

Why Choose Tabriz Rugs

Tabriz rugs nowadays make use of more modern colors to work perfectly with contemporary homes. But they still retain the charm and beauty these majestic Persian rugs are known for.  They are great for people who love entertaining at home as they can be a conversation starter for guests. They can evoke a comfortable and homey feeling with how soft and fine their texture are. Tabriz rugs are excellent pieces to investment in for collectors and those aiming to make their homes beautiful should consider the rug as it is among the best in the world.


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