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Workshops of Persian Handmade Carpet

Comprehensive Introduction of the Most Popular and Outstanding Persian Handmade Carpet Workshops

Most Persian towns and rustic rugs are woven in hundreds of workshops. These workshops are ideal workspaces where some looms (especially vertical looms) are established and many weavers weave patterns under the control of carpet experts and quality supervisors. At these workshops, rugs of the highest quality and most accurate designs are created. Most of the well-known and popular Persian rugs that are provided to the world come from many great workshops across Iran. These workshops, as one of the important investments in Iran's economy, help many Iranian people live for generations. Some of them are established by families who love the wonderful and unique art of Persian rugs and aim to be entrepreneurs like Seirafian carpet workshops. You can see rows of stabled looms of different sizes near each other and many nimble weavers sitting down on these looms, knotting on tidy warps according to beautiful and delicate patterns in front of them. The Persian carpet workshops have had a high effect on this industry, causing great trade and business for Persian carpets throughout its life for many years. Some of the best and most well-known workshops for Persian carpets are introduced here to get familiar with their aspects, features, and products, and to make connections for business purposes.

The History of Persian Carpet Workshops

How Did Carpet Workshops Come About?

The Persians have consistently demonstrated expertise in the textile business (about five millennia BC). The original textile workshops in Iran reappeared many years ago, since they were one of the first civilizations to emerge anywhere on the globe. They also had particular skills and expertise in carpet weaving. Although there aren't many pieces of Persian carpets, several historical books depict King Abbass, the famous king of the Safavid dynasty in Iran, and his magnificent royal workshops. It's conceivable that around this time, since it was the Persian civilization's Golden Age of art and rug making, the first expert and specialized studios for carpet weaving were formed (17th century). Shah Abbas built large, well-equipped workshops in Kashan and Isfahan. He also adored drawings and Persian carpet design. The Safavid rugs are magnificent! After that, while many villages were already active in this business and were producing distinctive carpets in their homes, workshops began to appear in significant towns.
Many populated places in Iran (Persia) had carpet industries up until the 19th century, and each city had its own unique design. Around this period, foreign traders started to show an interest in Persian carpets and supported the establishment of their workshops in a few Iranian provinces, like Kerman and Sultanabad. Due to exchanges with foreign markets and orders, the Persian carpet industry expanded, and established carpet workshops even emerged in rural areas. However, in their tents, nomads continued to handcraft spectacular carpets. Locals made progress in developing carpet weaving workshops and improved their ability to take over management of such workshops when foreign traders left this country. The "Amoghli" and "Seirafian" workshops are among the most prestigious in the recent history of the Persian carpet industry. Over 50 locations in Iran now have workshops for weaving handmade Persian carpets, including large towns and small villages, which has preserved this sector of the economy and kept this fantastic art alive. They're an investment for the Persian people, not just for the rugs that are a treasure for Persian art and culture, but also because these workshops have employed thousands of human resources.

What Is Happening in Persian Carpet Workshops and How to Establish a Carpet Workshop?

The process of handmade Persian carpet production is lengthy. Many essential items help to create an excellent Persian carpet, like looms and their structures, the quality of fibers, the number and skill of weavers, and carpet experts controlling the weaving process. Also, the light of the workshops and the ergonomics of tools and seats affect the operations. While all these items are available, the steps in the production of handwoven Persian carpets in the workshops are as follows:

Ordering Persian Carpet Pattern

What is the starting point of every artwork and masterpiece? An idea, a dream, and a design! In other words, Persian rugs wouldn't exist without their designs. This is the first step of Establishing a carpet workshop. Many Designers and painters are working specifically in the Persian carpet industry to study and draw magnificent patterns influenced by centuries of Persian art identity and uniquely paint them on graph paper for weavers. Other levels of weaving a Persian rug depend on the features of the design and the size of the carpet you want to produce! Designers draw patterns according to the carpet's shape, size, and density. Choosing fibers also depends on the colors and patterns; weavers can't weave a detailed and delicate pattern with low knot densities. Actually, the finer the fibers and the closer the warps are put together, The finer motifs and patterns can be woven. So With a carpet design, you can plan for other steps like how many fibers you need and what colors they should have, Which size is better for carpet looms and how your looms should be wrapped. Every region in Iran has its unique style of pattern. You can find a professional designer here to order your design and start with your carpet workshop!

Preparing Fibers and Materials

To weave the rug design, you should prepare the required fibers and materials! These fibers differ for each carpet pattern based on the design delicacy, knot density, size, and texture type. After your design is completed, you can prepare dyed fibers based on your pattern. To choose the right kind of fibers, you should define the texture of your carpet and the amount of cost you have considered for the entire production process. Handmade rugs are woven with silk, wool, and cotton fibers. Each type has unique features, but cotton yarns with different grades are used for warp and weft, while silk and wool yarns can be used in all parts of the carpet texture!
Chemical-dyed fibers can cost lower than naturally-dyed fibers, but you should notice that naturally-dyed fibers are more durable. You can get a consultation from a carpet expert to choose the correct grade and type of fiber.

Establishing Carpet Looms

Persian carpets can't be created without looms. These looms can be horizontal or vertical, but vertical looms are used in carpet workshops (while most nomads use horizontal looms). The loom's size differs depending on the size of the carpets, but they are all wooden or metal frames, and their strength is their most important feature. Before establishing a specific carpet loom, experts recommend checking this feature, as weaving a carpet (especially large carpets) may put a lot of pressure on the looms. Today, metal looms are widely used because they are easier to control.

Wrapping Carpet Looms

Wraps are the bones of carpets! They are the most crucial aspect of carpet texture. If they don't fit well together, the rug or carpet may not be woven well. Twisting or placing the warp threads on a loom is sensible, so experts in this operation usually take part in wrapping. This process is done differently in different regions of Persian carpet weaving. People in some areas (including Turkish tribes) twist threads directly on looms, but others do this on two specific rods and then move them to the main loom. Wrap threads can be cotton, silk, or wool, with different grades according to the carpet pattern and knot density.

Weaving The Pattern

The most important level of producing a Persian rug is weaving the pattern. This is the most time-consuming and challenging part of the process. For this part, you need to employ professional weavers. Weaving carpets include knotting the right fibers on the wraps according to the pattern (the knotting is also different, as mentioned on the Handmade carpets page). This level will face many challenges like disturbance of texture balance, tearing warp threads, and messing up the design's order. Every carpet workshop needs a carpet expert to control the weaving process to prevent these problems. The time required to finish this part depends on some aspects, like patterns, knot density, and carpet size. The higher the knot density and the size of the carpet, the more time it takes to finish it. Sometimes it takes more than a year to complete this level. It also relies on the skill and speed of the weavers. After weaving the carpet is finished, experts should also control the technique of cutting wrap threads at the end because of the carpet's high weight.