Text Box: I. From the top Bidjar with Herati-pattern  64 x 46 cm - knotted ca. 1965. Rosenbidjar  80 x 54 cm - knotted ca. 1970. Afshar-Bidjar  90 x 53 cm - knotted ca. 1970. Bidjar  76 x 53 cm - knotted ca. 1960. Til web 2 Bidjar

Bidjar, Bijar Gerus, Garus, Geruz

(Generally very tough and durable carpets)

The carpets from the towns of Bidjar and Tekab, as well as from the nearby villages, are famous for their special knotting technique and the high quality. They are among the sturdiest carpets you can buy. The genuine Bidjar carpets are some of the heaviest and, relative to the thickness of the yarn, some of the most densely knotted carpets available on the market. In the old days, Bidjar carpets had a reputation for being indestructible and the strongest carpets in the Orient. This is no longer the case. Among the newer carpets from the area, you can find quality levels that in no way live up to this reputation. If you want to get your hands on a true Bidjar carpet, you have to buy one from one of the few producers that has remained faithful to old traditions or you can look for an older carpet. Over the course of our careers, my family and I have only seen a handful of genuine Bidjar carpets get worn-out through normal use. It is almost impossible. The patterns are often Herati, framed in a large, rhombus-shaped stylised medallion. A different pattern that was common in the past is rose-bidjar, with a round medallion and flower vines, but with the rustic look of the Bidjar carpets. It is rarely seen on the market these days. About 50 km north-west of Bidjar is the town of Tekab. Here, carpets are being made that are easy to confuse with Bidjar carpets. In this area, Afshar tribes used to knot carpets, so these carpets are therefore called Afshar-Bidjar on the market. Pattern-wise, the Afshar-Bidjar carpets are a bit more rounded and with additional floral motifs. They are slightly softer in their structure and typically have a clearer, red ground colour than the other Bidjar carpets, which usually tend towards rust or plum colours. When you want to transport a genuine Bidjar carpet, it should be folded with the pile facing outwards. This way, it does not place as much strain on the backing fabric. However, it is better to roll the carpet, if possible. A Bidjar carpet can be very stiff because it is usually beaten very hard during the knotting process. The warp and weft threads are usually cotton, but a bit of polyester is often mixed into the cotton to strengthen it. They generally consist of densely-knotted carpets, and they use both Senneh and Ghiordes knots. The density can vary as much as from 18,500 to 93,000 knots per ft2. However, it is most common to find them with densities of 23.000-46.000 knots per ft2.


The best Bidjar carpets and the most densely knotted in recent times are being made by the Taghavi makers. Their carpets are simply in a class of their own. My sister and I first met them in Tehran in 2000. We were impressed with the quality of their carpets, but they cost nearly double as much as the normal Bidjar carpets from the bazaar. We decided to take the chance and bought an assortment. When we got home, it turned out that our customers were willing to pay for the superior quality. The carpets were sold in record time, and we had to travel to Iran to get more. That was 15 years ago. Since then, while visiting customers or in conjunction with a trade, I have had the chance to see many of the Taghavi carpets that we previously sold. They do not really change with use. I even have a couple at home. Even when they are exposed to extreme wear, you can see nothing on them. They are incredibly durable. My parents have had one under the dining table in their open-plan kitchen and living room since 2001. This room has windows from the floor to the ceiling, in a 180 degree south-facing arch. The sun shines on the carpet from morning to evening every day, and my parents are always sitting there in the kitchen enjoying the view with their large Doberman. This is also where we hold meetings with our business connections, family gatherings and the like. It is simply the most exposed location for an Oriental carpet. Due to the effect of the light, the carpet’s colour has changed slightly, but the colours are still beautiful. Regarding wear and tear, you cannot even tell it has been used. This carpet and my own carpets are the cheapest quality that the family makes. This is why I am confident when I say that Taghavis carpets are almost impossible to wear out. The Taghavi family made Bidjer carpets in 50, 70 and 90 raj (i.e. Between 46,000 and 111,000 knots per ft2), with naturally dyed yarn when we began doing business with them in 2000. However, today they almost exclusively produce carpets with 50 raj. The raw materials are still the best available. The prices have increased by over 100 percent in the meantime, and their production has decreased to about 5 percent of what it was, so these carpets are not very easy to find.

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:

The book is published by Muusmann Forlag.

For more info: