Gabbeh carpets are rough and very rustic nomadic carpets, which are generally knotted by Kashgai nomads in the Fars-province of southern Iran. Gabbeh carpets have very simple patterns. Some of them consist almost entirely of one colour and are made of untreated yarn, the way wool is when it has been sheared. Others are striped or come with a few, primitive patterns or motifs with people and animals, which are framed by a main border. Even if Gabbeh carpets are coarsely knotted, they are still very robust due to the quality raw materials. You could be led to believe that the Gabbeh carpets are an attempt to pay homage to modern furniture design, but the Kashgai nomads have been knotting the Gabbeh carpets this way for a very long time. The only thing that has changed is the use of additional colours. Today, you can find Gabbeh carpets in almost any conceivable colour. They are also in such high demand that they are now being produced commercially outside the Fars province. They are knotted with a density of 5,500–11,000 knots per ft2.
Rizbaft, Risbaft Luribaft, Loribaft Rizbaft-Gabbeh, and Luribaft-Gabbeh
The Rizbaft carpets are also a type of Gabbeh carpet. They are just more finely knotted. Riz means fine and baft means knotted, so Rizbaft-Gabbeh means finely knotted Gabbeh. The design and origin are the same as for the Gabbeh carpets. Luribaft-Gabbeh are typically of good quality, just like the Rizbaft carpets. As the name implies, they are knotted by the Luri nomads rather than the Kashgai nomads. Like the Gabbeh carpets, Rizbaft-Gabbeh come in many different colours and patterns. Quite a few of these carpets are being knotted today by village residents. They are knotted with a density of 15.000-33.000 per ft2.
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
See video about Rizbaft rugs here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kc3OK3JjMRw
You can find our selection of Rizbaft carpets underneath.