Carpet weaving is an essential part of Persian culture and art. A Persian carpet or Persian rug is a heavy textile, made for a wide variety of utilitarian and symbolic purpose, produced in Iran and surrounding areas which once belonged to the Persian Empire, for home use, local sale, and export.
The art of carpet weaving existed in Persia in ancient times , according to evidence such as the 2500-year-old Pazyryk carpet, dating back to 500 B.C., during the Achaemenid period. The first documented evidence on the existence of Persian carpets comes from Chinese texts dating back to the Sassanid period (224–641 AD). Historians know that by the 7th century AD, Persian carpets made of wool or silk had become famous in court circles throughout the region. Their quality and subtlety of design were renowned and carpets were exported to places as far away as china.
This art underwent many changes in various eras of the Persian history to an extent that it passed an upward trend before the Islamic era until the Mongol invasion of Persia. After the invasion, the art began to grow again during the Timurid and Ilkhanid dynasties. The major classical centers of carpet production in Persia were in Tabriz (1500–1550), Kashan (1525–1650), Herat (1525–1650), and Kerman (1600–1650).
The early patterns were usually symmetrical with geometric and floral motifs designed to evoke the beauty of classic Persian garden. Towards the end of the pre-Islamic period, stylized animal and human figures become more popular.
After the Arab conquest, Quranic verses were incorporated into some carpet designs, and prayer mats began to be produced on a grand scale; secular carpets also became a major industry and were highly prized in European courts.
The Persian carpet is far more than just a floor covering to an Iranian. It is a display of wealth, an investment and integral part of religious and cultural festivals and used in everyday life. The carpets manufactured in the country are often named after the area where they are made, for example Tabriz, Hamadan, Mashhad, Kerman, Shiraz and Bidjar. The carpets can also be named after different ethnic groups like the Ghashghais.
Over four thousand types of carpets are produced in Persia. Most of them have relative design like curvilinear, rectilinear, flowers, animals and birds in a variety of colors. Red is a popular color of an oriental Persian rug, used in every shade from cherry through scarlet to soft coral. Blues are also widely used in oriental carpets, especially the very deep indigo blue that appears so often as the background color.
The best Persian carpets which manifest the highly developed artistic craftsmanship of the Iranian people are usually woven in Tabriz, Heris , Isfahan and… .