Nahavand Rug, The Hand-Knotted Epic

If there is one ancient urban settlement in Hamadan province equal to Ecbatana in age, it would be Nahavand. (Also Romanized as Nehavand and Nehavend). This article will introduce the artistic souvenir of this region, the charming Nahavand rug.

Where is Nahavand?

The name is quite outstanding in the history of Iran. The reason is a battle that put an end to late Persian antiquity. The battle of Nahavand, where Arab invaders defeated the last Sasanid Emperor.

Prehistoric and ancient castle ruins are matters of interest in the area. The town of Nahavand lies some 90 km south of Hamadan (Ecbatana). It is separated by the massif of the Alvand Mountain, which rises to 11,716 feet, and the streams provide Nahavand and its agricultural hinterland with a plentiful water supply.

Central Zagros’ nature provides the best raw materials for rug weaving. That includes cotton and natural dyes, and the weave of the area is famous for being durable.

Technical Aspects and the Structure of Nahavand Rugs

Mostly have woolen piles, single-weft, and the symmetrical/Turkish knot on cotton warps and wefts.

Silky wool used in Nahavand matches the lustrous yarn of the area, which has a world reputation. Nahavand area rug is long-piled. Nahavand Knot count reaches 160000 knots per square meter. The weavers also produce area rugs and runners, primarily in large sizes.

Dyeing and Painting of Nahavand Rug

Benefitted by the Zagros’ nature, the chemical dyes have not corrupted the palette of the area. Lustrous yarn and silky wool of the area give a shiny feature to colors.

Dark shades are more popular in Nahavand rugs. Dark blue and madder red are dominant tones that serve as ground and margin interchangeably.

Undyed camel hair of the region brings a golden camel to the Nahavand traditional rug palette.

Designs and Patterns of The Nahavand Rug

Inspired by the American Saruq style, Nahavand designs tend to have rectilinear patterns. Central medallions constituted most of the Nahavand rugs designs as well as a triple-medallion design with all-over Boteh (bush) design repeats.

Geometric leaves usually shape Nahavand medallions and rather large floral patterns surround them. Also, the artisans use animal motifs, such as lions rendered in a free nomadic style in the Nahavand knout rug.

In some rugs, margins make stylistic frames around the ground. One could easily recognize such structures in triple-medallioned ones.

Nahavand central-medallion designs are usually without specified corners. Some have very tiny corners, and some rugs corners merge into stylistic frames of margins.

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