The Historical Aspect of The Persian Rug

Persian Rug

Looking way back at the historical aspect of the Persian rug, here are “The seven most significant questions about the historical aspect of Persian rug:”

Why Did The People Need Rugs in the First Place?

More than 2,500 years ago, they were first woven to cover the floors for nomadic tribespeople at the time. The first Persian rug came from village rug weavers in Persia. The people would use them as practical furniture items because this was the age before the invention of modern furniture. 

The tribes had no problem back then in making rugs because they had big herds of sheep. That was their source for wool which they used to make rugs for others as well as for themselves.

In these early times, the Persian rugs served as beds, chairs, and tables for the very people who weaved them for their personal use in their homes. These ancient rug weavers developed the original craft and the skills and passed them to new generations of weavers.

Why Did The People Need Rugs in the First Place?
Persian Qum Rug

The earliest documentation and earliest age Persian rug took place in China. The cultural growth of Persia marked the genius creativity of the art weaved in the Persian rug. To trace the history of the Persian rugs is to follow a path of cultural growth of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen. 

Persians (known back then as Iranians) were the first pioneers of rug weavers in ancient civilizations. They passed along the family secrets from father to son and continuously from century to century until today. 

But, it wasn’t until 224 AD when the Chinese recorded the first ancient rugs during the Sassanid Dynasty. 

What Was The Earliest Age When The Persian Rug Became Popular Architectural Works?
Persian Heriz Rug

What Is The Most Ancient Persian Rug Ever?

The oldest Persian rug dates back to the 4th (or 5th) Century, BC. The Pazyryk Rug is one of the oldest piled rugs ever, discovered in the Siberian Mountains of Altai, Kazakhstan.

The most remarkable thing about the ancient Pazyrk Rug is how advanced its hand-knotted weaving was after 25 centuries. After several carbon tests, it revealed that it was woven about 2500 years ago. That suggests that the design, construction, and weaving techniques had to have been started as long ago as 5000 years.

What Is The Most Ancient Persian Rug Ever?
Persian Kerman Rug

When Did The Persian Rugs Become The Treasured Bounty of Warring Monarchs?

In 628 AD, Emperor Heraclius salvaged many rugs for himself when he conquered the Sassanian Capital of Ctesiphon. Later, in 637 AD, after the Arabs conquered Ctesiphon, they salvaged many rugs as their bounty. 

Among these, they took possession of the famous ancient “Springtime of Khosro ” rug. Today this rug the most precious rug in the history.

Emperor Heraclius was known to walk along with the rug during the winter to remind him of spring. Unfortunately, after the Arabs confiscated the huge rug, which measured 400 ft. x 100 ft., they ripped it to pieces.

When Did The Persian Rugs Become The Treasured Bounty of Warring Monarchs?
A Persian Rug With Black As the Main Color

When Did Persians Adopt The Turkish Knot?

The Turkish tribes (in 1038-1194) established the development of the “Turkish Knot.” After the Seljuk Turkish tribe conquered Persia in 1038, the history of the Persian rugs began. 

That’s when skillful Seljuk women of Azerbaijan and Hamadan introduced weaving with their newly developed way of making Turkish knots. This technique has never been surpassed and is in use to this very day. 

The technique used in Turkish knots consists of taking the yarn two times around the two adjacent warp threads. Then, draw the ends out between the two threads.

The Mongol control of Persia in 1220 saw the beginning of many reconstructions where precious Persian rugs started a recovery. 

When Did Persians Adopt The Turkish Knot?

When Did Persian Rugs Begin Appearing in Museums As Art Collections?

In the 16th century, during the reign of the Safavid Dynasty, Persian rugs began appearing in museums. This included a private collection of 1500 rugs in museums all over the world. In the era of prosperity in Persia and the reign of Shah Abbas, trade with Europe began, which made it possible for the transformation of the capital city of Isfahan. 

The Shah of Isfahan invited skilled weavers and designers to create new Persian rugs of fine materials such as silk, gold, and silver. During this Safavid period, rug experts claimed Persian rugs represented the best culmination of achievement in design. One of these rugs is currently exhibited as the centerpiece in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

When Did Persian Rugs Begin Appearing in Museums As Art Collections?

What Was the “Court Period of Persian Rug” and Its Impact on The Rug Industry?

The Court Period of Persian rug ended with the destruction of the city of Isfahan around 1722. And, after a while later, when the new Shah of Persia, Chieftain Nader Khan of Khorasan, took command, everything changed. 

During the decade that followed and several more years after the Shah’s death, no Persian rug of any worth was made. The reason is due to many conflicts of war campaigns with the Russians, Turks, and Afghans. As a result, the craft of weaving the Persian rugs survived mostly by the works of the nomads in villages and tribes.

This brings us to the present, when the original craft and skills of the ancient weavers have since been passed. And today, to be designated as an antique, a Persian rug has to be at least 80 years old.

All these factors determine why your antique Persian rug has authentic value: The Historical Aspect of the Persian rug.

What Was the “Court Period of Persian Rug” and Its Impact on The Rug Industry?
Persian Mahal Rug

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