Lillian, Lilihan, Liljan
About 80 km south-east of Arak is the town of Lillian. Most of the carpet knotters in this area are Armenian. Their carpets are quite different to the other carpets in the Arak area; for example, they are not as densely knotted. These carpets are similar to good carpets from the Hamadan area. The pattern is easily recognisable, with large flower motifs on a red, blue or beige ground colour. Both Senneh and Ghiordes knots are used. The warp and weft are made of cotton. The knot density is 100,000-250,000 per m2. Some of the older carpets from this area were knotted with extremely fine wool and have lustrous silk-like surfaces. Such carpets are in-demand with collectors.
(Most carpets from the Hamadan-province are good carpets - usually tough and wear resistant)
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
See video about Lilian rugs here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/RqRdS6f6zpo
You can find our selection of Lilian carpets underneath.