From a quality perspective, you can compare the Sarab carpets with the carpets from Lambaran. However, the patterns are quite different. The Sarab carpets often have a somewhat stretched hexagon, and the colours tend to be dominated by the camel hair coloured wool. You can also find newer, different carpets from this region, which are called Sarab Mashayekhi (Mashayakhi). They are commercially produced and resemble carpets from Ardebil, Moud or Tabriz Marhi. They are typically rust coloured and can sometimes be of very good quality. The original Sarab carpets usually use a mix of natural and synthetic dyes., The knot density is 11,000 - 16,000 knots per ft2. The Mashayekhi carpets have a knot density of 33,000 - 65,000 knots per ft2.
Sarab lies in the Azerbaijan-province in Iran
Azerbaijan is found in the north-western corner of Iran, but it continues beyond the Iranian borders. It is an area that has been plagued by wars for centuries. The capital, Tabriz, was founded in the 7th and 8th centuries, but in the 1200s it was conquered by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. In the 1400s, Tabriz became the capital of Persia under the Turkmen. In 1514, the Ottomans entered the province and deported a large part of the population to Turkey. Under the Safavids in the 1500s, the entire province and town of Tabriz experienced a boom, and even back then the crafty town merchants began to organise carpet exports to Europe. I want to focus on the Iranian part of Azerbaijan because that is the area I am most familiar with. In the middle of the 1800s, Tabriz was a carpet production centre, exporting to the west via Istanbul. It has always been home to skilled merchants who could fulfil the West’s demand for carpets. Azerbaijan has a highland climate, with cold winters and warm, dry summers. The population density in Azerbaijan is relatively high compared to other Iranian provinces. The majority of the population is originally Turkish, Kurd or Armenian. A large portion is bilingual, speaking both the local Turkish dialect and Farsi, which is Iran’s official language. In this area, carpet knotting is performed by both nomads and residents. Of the resident population, knotting is carried out by both men and women. Among the nomads, it is primarily women’s work. You can still find good, sturdy and very wear-resistant carpets from the Azerbaijan area on the market, but production is decreasing, like in other areas of Iran. Many of the carpets being sold today were knotted in the 1980s and 1990s. These are carpets with great value for money. The patterns are often large octagons or stylised medallions with flowers and animals. In the actual town of Tabriz, many different patterns are knotted, including patterns that were originally knotted in completely different parts of Iran. Tabriz is a gathering point for carpets from the entire Iranian Azerbaijan region, i.e. carpets from Tabriz, Khoy, Heriz, Ahar, Mehrawan, Goravan, Karadja, Lambaran, Sarab, Ardebil, Meshgin and Miyaneh as well as carpets made by nomads.
Læs om Lambaran-tæpper her:
The Lambaran carpets are knotted north-west of Heriz. They are wear-resistant and durable, almost always found as carpet runners and they come in lively red, blue and beige colours. The patterns are geometric medallions. These are good quality carpets at particularly favourable prices. The warp and weft threads are cotton, and they use Ghiordes knots with good wool quality. The knot density is 80,000 - 200,000 knots per m2. The colours are usually a mix of natural and synthetic dyes.
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 Sarab carpets underneath.