Persian rug is a reflection of Persian culture, art, ethics, beliefs, customs and rituals. Persia (Iran) has historically been one of the most important human civilizations and has always promoted high human values. Specifically, in the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, justice, the rule of law, the importance of indigenous cultures, the liberation of nations, and human rights were prominent features of the state.
Also in later periods, Islamic Persian mysticism added to the beauties of Persian culture and art. The above-mentioned highlights, along with the taste and artistry of Iranians, have shown and continue to show themselves in the beautiful designs of Persian rugs in different periods; So that Persian rugs have always been unrivaled in beauty and quality.
Persian Rug in History
Persian rugs have long been famous and used, as evidenced by the Greek historian Xenophon in his book Cyropaedia, written between 430 and 345 BC: "Iranians spread rugs under their beds to keep them soft." The period of history Xenophon refers to is related to the Achaemenid Empire (550 BC – 330 BC).
In addition, Xenophon describes Persian rugs as precious, and worthy to be used as diplomatic gifts. It is interesting that the very first reference to Persian rugs in the world literature already puts them into a context of luxury, prestige, and diplomacy.
The Pazyryk Carpet is the oldest surviving pile carpet in the world that according to its motifs, can be considered as a Persian rug and one of the remaining works of the Achaemenid Empire.
Pazyryk Carpet measures 183 cm × 200 cm and has a knot density of approximately 360,000 knots per square meter, which is higher than most modern carpets.
Persian Rug's Materials
In most Persian rugs, the pile is of sheep's wool. Its characteristics and quality vary from each area to the next, depending on the breed of sheep, climatic conditions, pasturage, and the particular customs relating to when and how the wool is shorn and processed. Usually, sheep are shorn in spring and fall. The spring shear produces wool of finer quality.
Silk is an expensive material, and has been used for representative carpets. Its tensile strength has been used in silk warps, but silk also appears in the rug pile. Silk pile can be used to highlight special elements of the design. High-quality rugs have all-silk piles. Silk pile rugs are often exceptionally fine, with a short pile and an elaborate design.
Cotton forms the foundation of warps and wefts of the majority of Persian rugs.