|Collection||ONE OF A KIND|
Between Sabalan and Bozqoush, two high neighboring hills in Azarbayjan, stands the spa town of Sarab (sarâb). Persian words ‘Sar’meaning ‘head’ and ‘âb’ meaning ‘water’ make exactly ‘headwaters’ as the springs of the area make a source for Talxe-Roud, Aji-Chay, The Bitter River.
Sarab, East Azerbaijan, Iran
Sounds of chattering streams never stop in Sarab; neither on or under the stone and earth. On rocks there has been carved Urartian cuneiform inscriptions and the town has an ILkhanate mosque with khaki brickwork and turquoise kashani (Qashani). It seems the life has never stopped in this pastoral area since the 8th millennium BC, from when has remained traces of an initial rural life in the country.
Rich mineral springs water pasture and herd alike, making wool coarse and endure, which answer well to the need of mountain folks for warm and durable rugs.
Indeed, Sarabi pieces are long-lasting, not just because of material but also for their trustable weave. That’s why there are still plenty of antique Sarabs in bazar, in usable condition.
Sarab’s pieces are collected ultimately in Heriz which is the main rug center between Ardebil and Tabriz. In International markets, it seems that when people use ‘Sarab’ they refer to the kallegis or runners, which are the favored sizes in the region.
Technical aspects and the structure of Sarab Rugs
Pieces woven in Sarab are mostly Kallegi (rather wide runners) and runners which are favored sizes in Persian Azarbayjan, especially the Heriz district.
Knots are Turkish/symmetrical, pile is woolen and warp and weft are cotton, dense and heavy, to match the wool’s coarseness.
Dyeing and painting of Sarab rugs
Azarbayjan’s mountains provides a special kind of madder which brings several shades of brownish red on pallets, as well as acid-moderated pinks. The hue obtained of this madder’s root is so unique you can’t fail to recognize, especially on the grounds of Sarab runners.
A glowing camel catch the viewer eyes in the fields of Sarabs which is obtained from undyed camel hair. Different shades of it shine gleamingly out of deep rosy and navy blue.
Designs and patterns of the Sarab rugs
Repeats of gem medallions make common designs of Sarab runners. Some of these medallions are filled with rosettes or tiny gems and in some designs the medallions are surrounded with strips.
There are initial samples in weavers’ minds, but every piece find its own charm at the end. It would be a difficult tax to find two pieces alike.