What are Kilims

Rich in colour and high in quality, the Tabriz Persian carpets live up to their reputaion of being of the finest carpets available

Tabriz Persian Carpets

Reflected in many fine examples of antique Tabriz carpets is this rich heritage of the elegant court tradition combined with subtle innovations inspired by Western taste and artistry


Fine example of a Tabriz Persian Carpet

The city of Tabriz is situated 600 km west of Teheran and one of the largest cities in Iran and also the captial in the province of Azerbajdzjan. The population comprising of the Azaris, who are the largest ethnic minority in Iran and speak the Turkish dialect. The city is old and has for centuries been a very important trading place and border station. Known attractions are the Blue Mosque and the giant bazaar.

The manufacturing of carpets today is extensive and the quality varies from excellent handicrafts to simple and cheap bazaar qualities. A good Tabriz has a short and rough pile. The patterns can consist of a centrally placed medallion surrounded by arabesques, weeping willows and cypresses. Another popular motif is the four seasons which describes the life of the Persian farmer during spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Ancient palaces and ruins are often seen on the carpets. On the corners it is sometimes possible to see the four great Persian poets: Sadi, Hafez, Ferdowsi and Omar Khayam.

The term Raj in connection with the name of Tabriz carpets refers to the number of knots in a 70 mm span range. The denomination 40 Raj refers to carpets with 400-500.000 knots/m2, 50 Raj to carpets with approximately 500-600.000 knots/m2, 60 Raj to carpets with 600-800.000 knots/m2 and 70 Raj to carpets with approximately 800-1.000.000 knots/m2. The last mentioned being extremely rare on today's market.

The major city of Tabriz, located near the Turkish border, is the center of classically designed antique carpets in Northwest Persia. At the foot of the beautiful Elbruz Mountains, Tabriz has a noteworthy history, both as the Persian market center most linked geographically to European and Western commerce, and as the source of the most venerated weavings: the inspired carpets of the Shah Abbas period during the 15th and 16th centuries.

With such auspicious beginnings, during the second half of the 19th century, the city boasted some of the most famous masters such as Kurban Dai, Sheik Safi, Faradji. and most notably, the luminary Hadji Jallili (Haji Jalili), all of whom were responsible for the reclamation of this celebrated past by reinventing a truly memorable Tabriz carpet production.

Since the middle of the 19th century, Tabriz has lead a resurgence in Persian carpet-weaving both for domestic use and for export. With strict standards of craftsmanship and quality of materials used, Tabriz rug weavers produced tight densely-knotted structures and elaborate floral displays. Some of the finest workshop Tabriz rugs, woven exclusively for carpet aficionados among the nobility, are technical achievements unsurpassed by any other weavings of the 20th century.

Like Kashan and Isfahan carpets, Tabriz rugs capture the sophistication and refinement of the classical Safavid Court carpets. Reflected in many fine examples of antique Tabriz carpets is this rich heritage of the elegant court tradition combined with subtle innovations inspired by Western taste and artistry.

The Tabriz rug weavers drew on a varied repertoire of delicate designs: multi-faceted flowerheads, subtle arabesques, lush vinery rendered in naturalistic detail, and precise allover “Herati” patterns, all woven in jewel-toned colors.