The carpets that today are called Ghiassabad are virtually identical to Saroug carpets. The difference is that Ghiassabad carpets are usually of even better quality, and the patterns often consist of small flower bouquets on a unicoloured beige, red, gold or blue ground colour. The knot density can easily reach 46,000 - 65,000 knots per ft2. (Most carpets from the Arak area are made for daily use - they are usually durable and made from high quality wool.)
Saroug, Sarough, Saruk, Sarouk
South of Malayer and Wiss you can find the town of Saroug. Here, carpets are knotted in workshops and as part of the domestic industry. The wool is often beautiful and glossy, and the knotting is compact and regular. The carpets are among the most durable in Iran, but here too you can find carpets with dyes and wool qualities that do not even come close to the standards of old. The patterns often consist of an oblong medallion with flower motifs or a Herati pattern that fills a pure blue, red or beige ground colour. You can also find other patterns without a medallion and with regular flower motifs. The colours are beautifully matched, with warm, subdued nuances, but you can also find wonderful compositions of strong reds and blues. The warp and weft are cotton and the Ghiodres knot is mostly used, though you can sometimes find carpets with the Senneh knot. The knot density fluctuates greatly and can be 14,000-56,000 per ft2.
Read more about the Malayer, Wiss and Arak areas:
The town of Malayer is located in the eastern part of the Hamadan area, close to the border to Arak. In terms of quality and pattern, malayer carpets are comparable to carpets from Saroug and Djozan. They can also slightly resemble carpets from Ferahan as they are knotted with a different technique and seem a bit thinner. However, do not mistake the quality, which can be amazing particularly in the older carpets. Here too you will find subdued red and blue colours as well as indigo/dark blue. Some carpets from Malayer also come with a pearl chain pattern on the main border. The knot density is usually 14,000-28,000 per ft2.
The town of Wiss is located west of Arak. Here you can find some rather crude but sturdy and wear resistant carpets. The patterns are large and geometrical, with contrasting colours often consisting of yellow-red, red and blue. The carpets are knotted with Ghiordes knots. The warp and weft are made of cotton. The knot density is 7,400-16,700 per ft2.
The Arak area:
The Arak area near the town of Arak is a rich agricultural zone where the population speaks Farsi (Persian). Arak was founded in the 19th century under the name Sultanabad. The carpet producing zones include Saroug, Ghiassabad, Djozan, Malayer, Saroug-Mir, Mahal, Wiss, Bordjalo and Lilihan. For over 200 years carpets have been knotted in the Arak areas. It was the merchants from Tabriz who, in the mid-1800s, noticed the skilled Arak knotters. Thanks to the wool, colours and harmoniously designed patterns, the carpets quickly became a popular export product to the West. The wool quality in Arak is generally quite good. They remained popular carpets, and natural dyes were predominantly used. Today, good wool and natural dyes are no longer a given, but there are still carpet makers around who struggle to honour the good old carpet traditions.
You are reading an extract from the book ‘Oriental Carpets, Knottet with Love’ by Martin Munkholm.
This extensive book about all that is carpets can be borrowed in Danish libraries or be bought following this link: http://www.belle-rugs.dk/dk/ekspertise/taeppebog/
The book is published by Muusmann Forlag.
For more info: muusmann-forlag.dk
You can find our selection of Giassabad carpets underneath.