Home » Archives for Admin

Author: Admin

Kerman Rugs: Flights of Fancy

Kerman rugs come in a wide range of color and design, but they all have something in common. Almost invariably, Kerman carpets evoke a sense of wonder. They weave together whimsical floral patterns in such inventive ways that they were once considered the best of Persian rugs. Ranging from the most eye-popping reds and pinks to subdued chocolate and amber hues, Kerman rugs look like they belong in palaces. And yet anyone can buy a Kerman carpet and make a palace of even the smallest apartment or house.


Kerman rugs  (also spelled Kirman) are generally made in the south central part of Iran known by the same name. It is the name of a city and a province. In the 18th century, rugs made in the Kerman province were renowned as the best in Persia. Unfortunately in 1794 the desert city was destroyed in a military siege carried out by Agha Mohamad Khan. He became the first ruler of the Qajar dynasty after defeating the Safavids. Although Iranians lament that Kerman was never the same after that, the region remained a center for the production of quality rugs.

History of Kerman Rugs

Kerman Persian rugs have been exported to the west since the early 17th century. Yet, we know that evidence, namely depictions, indicate rug production in the region from as far back as 2500 years. In the 3rd century Kerman was established as a military outpost for the Sassanid Empire (Neo-Persian Empire). Throughout the centuries the region has been called Kermania, Karmania, and even Zhermanya, in addition to Kerman rugs. All of these names hold a meaning related to the military or combat. 

As a defense base, the region saw heavy traffic by troops, travelers, and merchants who frequented the Silk Road. Kerman flourished as a trade outpost attracting merchandise from India, China, Anatolia, and Europe. In 1271 Marco Polo is known to have traveled through Kerman as evidenced by his writings. He writes of a rock called turquoise mined in the mountains of the region, silk tapestries embroidered by women, and other items harder to translate. Historians believe these items are a reference to rugs. 

Celebrated Color and Quality

Kerman rugs almost always are woven on a cotton foundation with exceptional quality sheep’s wool. The knot density for Kerman rugs varies but generally falls in the range of 100 to 500 knots per square inch. This is in the mid-range for Persian carpets. The weave is not as tight as Isfahan or Nain rugs, but that is because Kerman rugs are made slightly thicker for a more plush and sumptuous feel. 

Colors used frequently in Kerman rugs are brilliant to muted reds, golds, ambers, greens, all shades of blue. Whites range from eggshell and ivory to antiqued beige. Rarer colors found in Kerman carpets are olive khaki and light orange. Connoisseurs of color gravitate toward Kermans because, of all the Persian carpets, they have the most brilliant assortment. Kerman’s weavers may be esteemed for using the most varied and imaginative palette, but the wool dyers deserve much credit as well. The wool is dyed before it is spun, allowing for more uniform color. Kerman dye specialists are sought after for their skill in producing delicately vivid lighter shades as well as dramatic prime colors and darker hues. 

Style & Design

The overarching characteristic of Kerman rugs is ornate curvilinear florals. The signature flower of almost every Kerman rug is the Damask Rose, which also provides the pervasive pink-red color used in many Kerman rugs. One of the most common Kerman designs has a central medallion set apart by a buffer of solid bright red before spanning out to more florals around the border. Of the Kermans that have an all over design pattern, the most recognizable is the repeated vase pattern. Other designs incorporate lattices or wildly inventive florals. Pictorial Kerman rugs are rarer but do exist, sometimes depicting portraits or even reproductions of classical paintings. 

Contemporary Use of Kerman Rugs

Rugs from Kerman are a dream for collectors and designers. Their range of color allow decorators a wide array of options. And their whimsical designs bring a sense of joy and wonder to interiors. Kerman carpets are so versatile that they can evoke opulence and grandeur in the dining room, plush warmth in the living room, or turn a little girl’s room into a reverie fit for a princess. 

Kerman rugs are also thicker and denser so they endure through the ages and can handle high traffic areas. Because of their durability, these rugs retain their structure and color for years, even hundreds of years. As such they also hold their value well and can be passed down through generations. 

Nain Cover

Sophisticated and Understated Nain Rugs

History of Nain Rugs

Nain is a small town of only some 25,000 people and their initiation into rug weaving came later than in most other parts of Iran. However Isfahan, which has a long and rich history of rug design and weaving is only 85 miles away. When some artists in Nain realized how lucrative weaving had become, they began weaving Isfahan rugs in Nain in the 1920s. It wasn’t until the mid-1930s, after the decline of cloth weaving in the town, that Nain developed its own style and brand, so to speak. Suddenly, Nain rugs became very popular exports. 

Characterized by natural ivory color backgrounds paired with often subdued blue accents, they were popular even in the United States, especially in the 60s and 70s. Fathollah Habibian, who died in 1995, is the generally considered the father of Nain rugs. He began weaving with his brother Mohammad when they were school children. Their workshop is renowned for consistently creating Nain carpets of the highest quality to this day.

Weave and Design

Nain rugs are hand woven on traditional looms using the typical Persian asymmetric knot. The finest tightly woven pieces often use delicate silk for the stationary longitudinal warp threads. This allows for smaller knots. High quality wool is also used. The transverse weft is generally exceptional wool accented with silk. In these rugs, the pile is always clipped short. The knot density can reach up to 700 KPSI (knots per square inch), which is extremely fine quality. 

Nain rug design is intricately delicate, not unlike Isfahan rugs, but with thinner curvilinear details. Repeated patterns of symmetrical florals feature an arrangement of scrolling and interlacing foliage. The foliage sometimes encompasses a central medallion. The arabesque designs are often integrated with other repeated details such as birds, forest animals, and exotic fruits. In addition to Habibian Nain rugs, another rare Nain are the Tuteshk, which are also made with exceptional craftsmanship. 

One of the characteristics of Nain rugs that sets them apart from other village rugs, other than their exceptional quality, is their color. The background is more often than not a very natural ivory or cream. This base color is accented with various muted tans and browns and minimal highlights of color, the most common being blue. Occasionally the highlight color paired with the cream is deep cranberry red, and even rarer green or yellow. The understated colors allow the design to break through.

Nain Quality Classification

Nain rugs have a quality classification system specific to rugs woven in Nain. They are separated into three categories of quality referred to in Persian as “la,” which translates to “layer.” It indicates the number of threads used in each warp layer in weaving the carpet. The lower the number the smaller the knots and the higher the density and quality. 

The categories are 4-La, 6-La, and 9-La. It’s fairly simple to determine the number of layers by inspecting the fringe and counting the number of threads in each grouping. The finest Nain rugs are 4-La and are considered exclusive quality. They have a knot density of up to 700 KPSI and are extremely difficult to find today. 6-La is considered extra fine quality and 9-La is considered good quality because even the least densely woven Nain, is still much finer than village Persian rugs. 

Interior Decorating with Nain Rugs


In addition to gaining a following in Europe, beginning about 50 to 60 years ago Nain carpets became very popular in the United States. This was not the case for other types of Persian rugs such as Kerman, Hamadan, Kashan, or Tabriz. The popularity of the Nain the world over is due to its understated colors combined with delicate yet complicated floral patterns. Nain rugs always bring a classy touch to any room, without bringing too much attention to themselves like their flashier bright red and blue Persian cousins. 

As part of dining room decor, an all-over Shah Abbas design Nain rug instantly adds sophistication and elegance under even a basic dining table. Living rooms accented with a slightly warmer hued Islimi design Nain, maintain a focal point without overpowering other elements in the room. 

Contemporary Nain Rugs

Many Nain rugs found today were made after 1945. Although the caliber has diminished slightly, Nain carpets are still very high quality specimens. Even if the major weavers have lowered their standards some, out of necessity. When you start at the highest level, you can afford to drop down a notch or two and still remain exceptional.

Persian Rug Cleaning and Care: The Complete Guide

Persian rugs are impeccably made, yet specialty rugs of any kind are an investment. Whether it’s an oriental rug, Native American, or Persian – you want to keep it looking as nice as possible in order to further your asset and keep it for years to come. Here are the proper cleaning methods to protect your Persian rug and have it look its best and retain its value.

Persian rugs have specific knotting, fabric, and design. Each Persian rug is a unique work of art, handcrafted by weaving with looms. These exquisite rugs have been seen in homes for over 3500 years, including those of nomads and those of royalty. Iran is where these rugs come from, which was once known as Persia – hence, the name.

Invest in a Rug Pad

The best approach to Persian rug cleaning is preventing the need to. A rug pad is a small expense when it comes to keeping your Persian rug in-shape. Rug pads keep your rug from slipping. This is especially important high traffic areas where rugs are liable to move around. If you simply have a rug for show, you might not have to use a rug pad, although it’s always a good idea regardless. Yet if you have one that does see foot traffic then this keeps the rug from shifting around and helps minimize tearing.

Vacuum Often

According to Home Guides:

Persian carpets are woven from wool, silk and cotton, natural fibers that get worn down as dirt accumulates at the base of the fiber. Set the “beater bar” of the vacuum on high to prevent damage to the fibers. After running the vacuum over the rug once, turn off the “beater bar,” and run the vacuum over it once more, removing surface dirt. This also protects the fibers from becoming wrapped around the vacuum bar and pulling or tearing.

Keep in mind what type of material your rug is made of. For example, you don’t want to tear the loops of a braided area rug or a hand hooked rug. So be careful with what type of suction you use when vacuuming. For those with a flat weave rug, this is not as much of a concern. Simply put, be mindful of the material. While you want to vacuum regularly, you also want to take care that you do not overdo it and snag the loops of the rug.

Taking Care of Spills and Stains

No matter how careful you are, spills and stains happen. Unfortunately, there is no single method of Persian rug cleaning. There are many types of Persian rug that have to be handled differently from the others.

The important thing is to look at the material your rug is. This may be jute, silk, or wool and each of those need a different cleaning method. For example, heat should never be used on a silk rug. And since this material should not be cleaned with abrasives, heat, or steam, it is often best to use a professional.

Wool rugs can be cleaned with a mild detergent and cool water. Just shake out the rug first and be sure not to use too much water when cleaning. Working in a 3×3 grid with a sponge and your cleaning solution is an excellent guide to use. Woolite works well on these rugs since it is specifically for wool items.

persian rug cleaning

Water and jute don’t mix. Jute absorbs moisture easily and tends to hold on to it for a long time which can lead to mold, mildew or harmful bacteria forming. Make sure to dry any spills quickly with paper towels and a hair dryer, limit yourself to spot cleanings, and test any cleaners on an inconspicuous spot first.

For those who are unsure of how to clean their rug or want to ensure that a professional does it, you can call a carpet cleaner who has experience in Persian rugs. In fact, a professional will most likely ask you what type of material it is when you call. This is so they bring the proper cleaning materials – some use dry methods while others require a wet cleaning method.

Rotate Your Rugs

Whether your rug is under furniture, sees heavy foot traffic, or is near a window – rotating it keeps it from wearing unevenly. For instance, if your rug is near a window, a portion of it may see more light than the rest. This can cause uneven fading. With those seeing foot traffic, there is always a part of the rug that may not see as much due to its location. And rugs under furniture may have indentations. None of these outcomes are ideal which is why it is important to rotate your rugs every few months – at least every six months is best. Simply rotate the rug 180 degrees to ensure that it has an even exposure throughout the year. You’ll avoid some of the indentations, fading, and wear and tear that only shows up on a portion of your Persian rug.

More Guides and Help

We offer best rug design and size for your aesthetic and living space, as well as offer access to cleaning, maintenance tips, and customer resources. A Persian rug is an investment and is an important part of your home. Having access to expert tips provides peace of mind that you will be able keep your rug looking as good as new for as long as possible.

Isfahan Rugs: Celebrated Works of Art

Isfahan rugs are quite possibly the finest rugs in the world, in terms of both beauty and quality. They are woven tightly with the highest quality soft “kork” wool and adorned with silk details. It’s no surprise they are so beautiful and fine considering where the carpets originate.

Born of Unparalleled Culture

Isfahan, or Esfahan as Persians call it, is the most culturally important city in Iran. Imam Square is the focal point of the city. Formed on each side by a mosque, a palace, a bazaar, and a school, it brings four necessary elements of society (government, worship, work, and education) together in harmony. 

Tradition is alive and interwoven with contemporary life in this city. Tourists and locals gather daily, walking the immense square, passing by traditional artisans hard at work. These artists work in plain sight on miniature paintings, copper molding, traditional printed tablecloths. This is, of course, one of the best places to see Isfahan rugs being made in person. The culture and beauty of the city gave rise to the well known phrase: Esfahan—nesfeh jahan. Isfahan—it’s half the world.

History of Isfahan Rugs

Shah Abbas the Great was an inspired King of the Safavid dynasty, and a great patron of the arts. He moved the capital of Persia from Qazvin to Isfahan and launched an artistic renaissance in the 16th century which gave rise to “The Golden Age of Persian Weaving.”

Shah Abbas commissioned extraordinarily fine large rugs, incredible works of art that allowed carpet weaving to flourish. During this golden age, designers of Shah Abbas the Great’s court introduced more curvilinear floral patterns, along with arabesque, scroll, vines, vase, and hunting motifs. Designs inspired by nature, architecture and artisanal works flourished in the city at this time. The trade diminished during the Afghan invasion in the 1700s, but re-emerged later and became celebrated once again.

Famous Antique Rugs

The world famous Polonaise (or Polish) rugs which incorporate real silver and gold thread were woven in Isfahan. Despite their moniker, they are not Polish. A Polonaise Safavid era Isfahan measuring only 5ft3in x 3ft6in sold for a whopping $4.3 million at Sotheby’s in 2009. Some of the world’s most coveted rugs hail from Isfahan and date back to the 17th century. 

When it comes to fine Isfahan rugs though, they don’t have to be antiques to fetch a pretty penny. Even new Isfahan rugs by contemporary masters can cost anywhere from $7000 for a small rug to hundreds of thousands. It all depends on the size and knots per square inch. These works of art are so precious that some collectors refuse to put them under foot. They prefer to hang them on their walls. 

Structure and Weave of Isfahan Rugs

Isfahan carpet weavers use exceptional quality “kork” lamb’s wool for the pile. The pile is then clipped low, creating a dense, thin rug. Isfahan rugs are also among the few Persian rugs which consistently use silk in the weave for accent details.

The density of the weave is also much greater than tribal and other regional rugs. While other rugs star at a minimum of 120 knots per square inch (kpsi), the average knot density of an Isfahan rug is 500 to 700 kpsi. The finest Isfahan rugs can reach a density of up to 25,000 kpsi! This high-density weave is made possible because most Isfahan rugs are woven on a silk foundation, rather than the more common cotton foundation of other rugs. Silk is more delicate than cotton, allowing weavers to tie thinner, tighter knots. The density, quality, and the additional draw of jewel-toned natural dyes create one of a kind collectible pieces. Famous weavers of the city are led by the Seirafian family and their workshops.

Design and Color of Isfahan Rugs

At the outset of Isfahan’s re-emergence as the carpet center for upmarket quality Persian rugs, most rugs incorporated traditional motifs. These designs were inspired by the architectural compositions and tile patterns that decorated the historical buildings in the city. Designers were also inspired by nature, evident in the curvilinear floral patterns, vines and pastoral scenes. They were particularly fond of scenes depicting fauna. Less tangible inspiration came from intellectual and spiritual sources such as the great poets of Persia. Sometimes carpets were even inscribed with well known stanzas of the poets Hafez, Rumi, and Attar. Of course they were also inspired by religious or spiritual motifs that are deeply ingrained in the culture, most often applied to the artistry of prayer rugs. 

Classical and contemporary Isfahan carpets are extremely attractive. The recent shift towards a more subdued palette, through the elimination of strong reds, makes these rugs more compatible with Western decorative schemes. In contemporary pieces the color combinations now favor either more pastels, or dark, subdued autumnal tones. Common designs include Shah Abbas, Vases, Tree of Life patterns, and pictorial scenes. Still, traditionalists continue to produce the popular composition of a circular central medallion set against a field of intricately intertwined floral and vine designs.

It is hard for other rug producing regions to outdo Isfahan in the realms of design, quality, luminosity or creativity. Most don’t even try.

Contemporary Use

Thanks to their beautiful craftsmanship, Isfahan rugs never go out of style. As expected, they pair well with furnishings in classic homes with traditional interiors. They can serve as a focal point in understated rooms or in harmony with richly designed opulent spaces filled with antiques and other patterns. An Isfahan can add a touch of theatricality to otherwise low-key rooms like a monochromatic bathroom or a simple office. While the subdued pastels of more contemporary Isfahan rugs can provide a gorgeous counterpoint to spaces with stark minimalist design. If the piece in question is particularly fine, possibly depicting a pictorial of forest animals and foliage, some collectors prefer to hang the rug on the wall. An Isfahan rug is a work of art, after all.

Ardabil Persian Rugs: Beautiful Works from the Caspian Coast

In the historic Azerbaijan province, not far from the Caspian Sea lies the city of Ardabil. It is the capital of Ardabil Province, which derives its name from the sacred Zoroastrian book. In the sacred Avesta, Ardabil means high holy place. It is fitting that such a region would give rise to works as prized as Ardabil Persian rugs are.

Origins of Ardabil Persian Rugs

The provenance of a Persian rug does not merely identify the city in which it was made. It characterizes the culture, environment, and people of the region that gave rise to that particular rug.

Ardabil (sometimes written Ardebil) sits near the western edges of the Caspian Sea. The region is known for its lush surroundings, cool climate and the beautiful Sabalan mountains in the Lesser Caucasus mountain range. People from all over the world travel to the region for its natural beauty and to benefit from its countless therapeutic mineral and hot springs. 

The most culturally important site in Ardabil is the Sheikh Safi al-Din Shrine, registered by the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2010. Sheikh Safi al-Din established the Safaviyya, an Islamic Sufi order which, over the course of almost 200 years, grew in prominence. The Safaviyya order gained military and political power and eventually gave rise to the Safavid Dynasty. Once in power, the Safavid rulers established the shrine as a place of pilgrimage. The two most famous carpets in the world were woven for the express purpose of enhancing the shrine in the 1600s.

Famous Ardabil Carpets

Two of the the oldest known rugs in the world are Ardabil Persian rugs. The largest of the two measures 34 by 17 feet and is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It likely took a team of 10 skilled weavers several years to produce a handmade rug so large. The densely woven wool pile of this magnificent carpet contains roughly 330 knots per square inch. The Ardabil Carpet’s carefully laid motifs include gorgeous scrolled patterns with swirling leaves and flowers. A golden 16-point medallion is the focal point in the center of the rug. The design incorporates more than 10 colors made of natural dyes from ingredients such as turmeric, pomegranate, indigo, and tea. 

The rug is so significant and valuable not only because of the quality weave and artful design, but also for the precise date emblazoned in a cartouche at the bottom of the carpet. It is the Persian Calendar equivalent of the year 1539. According to the Victoria and Albert Museum, “the carpet was still in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843, where it was seen by British visitors. An earthquake severely damaged the shrine about 30 years later. That is when the carpet was sold to a Manchester carpet firm, who in turn put it up for sale in 1892.” The museum acquired the piece in 1893. The second, almost identical rug, was gifted to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1953 by J. Paul Getty. 

Contemporary Ardabil Persian Rug Design & Color

The traditional Mahi (fish) design is perhaps the most common and popular. However, more modern hybrid Ardabil rugs are a close second. Persian macro designs and geometric Caucasian motifs are blended together in these hybrids. They are sometimes referred to as Persian Kazak rugs. 

Another common Ardabil layout is one of numerous linked diamond-shaped medallions or all-over octagonal shapes. The hooked medallion Ardabil is different from the traditional Mahi design in that the north and south tips of the medallion form a hook. Floral lattice, Konagkend, Herati, Meshkin, and Shahsavan are some of the other popular Ardabil designs.

Traditional Ardabil rugs tend to have either a red, blue, or rust colored field complemented with accent colors like ivory and brown. Modern designers and weavers have contributed to the evolution of traditional designs by adding eye-catching bold non-traditional colors such as green, purple, orange, and turquoise to the mix.

Weaving Method

Ardabil weavers start with a cotton warp to ensure a durable foundation. They use high quality thick wool to weave original pieces using Azerbaijani knots. Occasionally Ardabil rugs incorporate silk into the wool pile to highlight or create focal points in the rug’s design. The average knots per square inch (KPSI) for an Ardabil rug is 120, but borders tend to be slightly denser to prevent fraying edges.

Styling Ardabil Rugs Today

Geometric patterns and saturated tones make Ardabil rugs a perfect fit for just about any space. Many designers love creating a cynosure using these antique carpets in modern, minimal spaces. The brown and cream tones of the Caucasian patterns provide a gorgeous contrast to neutral spaces. The more traditional Mahi design Ardabils seamlessly pull together rooms in more traditional homes. These rugs work well in homes with wooden elements.

The perfect spot for a vintage Ardabil carpet is quite possibly in front of a stone fireplace. A stone house is suddenly unified with the addition of an Ardabil rug. The geometric patterns and deeper tones found in provincial designs of hybrid Persian Kazaks also work well in natural surroundings.

Top-quality materials give these carpets durability and longevity. Wool is naturally dirt-resistant which makes Ardabil rugs highly resistant to wear and tear. Meshkin runners with their geometric all over patterns and heavy wool piles are quite durable. That makes them a very popular choice in high traffic areas. However, Ardabils also hold value far beyond their usefulness and long-lasting quality. Some rug connoisseurs buy these sumptuous rugs as collectibles and create a legacy by passing them down for generations. 

Ardabil carpets, with their primitive symmetrical patterns and deep set color range, are perfect for anyone who seeks beauty and depth without pretension.


Moroccan Rugs

Imagine hopping out of a taxi in Marrakech’s famous central Jemaa el-Fna square and immediately joining throngs of people, all headed toward the legendary souks of this vibrant city’s famous Bazaar. Just as your nose entices you toward the warm aromas of North African and Middle Eastern spices, you are joined by a fast-talking snake charmer who wants to sling his long thin water snake around your neck. “What?! No thanks,” you politely refuse. But “no” does not mean “no” in a far off bazaar where the sellers of wares and scares have more time than you can imagine ever possessing in a day, more time to convince you that the fastest way to get to the varied souks you seek is to just allow the harmless snake to rest around your neck for a few seconds and a few Dirhams. Despite the fact that snakes give you the heebie-jeebies, even harmless ones, you decide to suck it up and in the process snap an awesome picture to post on Instagram later. Done. That wasn’t so bad! In fact, now you can’t wait to post it to social media. Is there public wifi in the bazaar? 

Shopping for Moroccan Rugs


Stop it. You’re not here for snake pictures. You’re here for the Marrakech markets, for the handicrafts, love potions, leather, spice, and everything nice, and at the top of that list is an authentic vintage Moroccan carpet. So the sooner you get to the rug souks, the sooner you can find the ultimate Moroccan souvenir, the one all your friends will gush over when you invite them over for drinks. The ultimate Moroccan rug is a dreamy plush rug that can cost an arm and a leg back home, but you’re determined to snag a deal, even if you’re not exactly the world’s greatest negotiator. Far from it. But you’re desperate to have this coveted carpet because a Moroccan rug has an impossibly cozy sophistication. It’s a rug that evokes adventure and home at once. It’s a rug that will give you enjoyment daily, for years to come. 

Types of Moroccan Rugs

How will you fit it into your luggage? Do you ship it? How to navigate that process in a foreign land? Do they have Fedex, or do you have to use DHL? As you wonder about the details another snake charmer trails just behind, urging you to meet his creepy thin snake, and suddenly you wish you could escape the sensory overload, the chaos and the throngs of people. You wish you could be relaxing in your living room with a nice glass of wine, feet propped up on a coffee table that sits on a gorgeous Moroccan Berber rug already!

Relax. It’s 2020 and no one’s going anywhere for a long time. Lucky for you there is a way you can have a Moroccan Berber in your living room in less than a week at a price you never thought possible.