Sarouk Rug, The Persian Rug That Is Customized For America

Sarouk rug

Sarouk [also romanized as Saruq] was a major rug weaving center of Iran. Sarouk rug’s design is among Semi-classical or City woven styles. That means the Sarouk rug probably comes from a city workshop. They have an accurate and well-organized structure.

Whether the Sarouk rug comes from the city or in a village, it always has a well-ordered pattern, symmetrical and flawless margins, and borders.

Design And Pattern of Sarouk Rug

Figures come together by delicate Xatāī lines, which is a typical design. Notably, the weaver has repeated a specific pattern eight times to form the pattern. One of the main characteristics of the Sarouk rug is the use of more Xatāī instead of Ēslīmī (arabesque).

There are five rows of borders from the margin of the rug. The great one is nearly like the Herati type, a combination of a Shah Abbasi flower and two fishes on both sides.

Although the classical Herati style looks well-arranged, there are some other variants of the Herati style in the Sarouk rug. The border design is one of their differences. And the edge-making of the borders is very well-operated, which is one of the characteristics of a city woven rug.

Sarouk rug
Sarouk Rug Sample

The Story of The Sarouk Rug

Most of the Sarouk rug date back to the late 19th century — right before the Second World War. This type of rug with this particular design became popular by multinational companies like Ziegler and O.C.M.

These companies first started these rugs, but gradually the role of designers became more critical. That led to recruiting Arak rug designers in multinational rug companies by the 20th century.

At first, multinational companies just exported antique rugs. However, at the end of the 19th century, these rugs became rare due to increased demand among western customers. On the other hand, recent rug productions were not favorable for them either.

According to A. Cecil Edwards, under these circumstances, the traders of Tabriz, who were close to the Turkish border, set up rug workhouses in the Sultanabad region. The chief aim of these rug workshops was to produce rugs for western taste and style.

Persian Rug, Customized For The American Buyers’ Taste

Therefore, in 1875 the first rug production companies were established. And contemporary with the sharply rising demand for Persian rugs, many establishments started to produce and trade rugs.

That got the multinational rug companies to enter the Arak rug weaving industry gradually. Ziegler, O.C.M, Salim Shahanian, Tyriakian, K.S.Tavshanjian and Near Co. Castelli were the most important ones.

Sultanabad region, with the highest quality materials, was the right place for setting up rug weaving workshops. Sarouk Village was the heart of this region. Sultanabad has a good geographic situation. It stands on the country’s main transition roads, ideal for rug traders.

Multinational companies had brought the Sultanabad region worldwide fame. In the U.S, the design of the Sarouk rug was adapted to the taste of their American buyers. Sarouk rug had some unique characteristics for them; the first and most important one is the western style of their designs.

As Annette Itting once said “Ziegler Company accepted designs from western traders who wanted to please their customers’ demands.” (No. 80, Hali Magazine)

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