Price range: medium to high
General details: Superb rugs woven in a small village about 30 miles from the town of Senneh in Kurdistan, and often referred to as the ‘iron rugs of Persia’ because of their strength and durability. The knotting on Bidjar rugs is not especially fine, with between 100 and 220 Turkish knots per sq inch, but the Bidjar weavers use a special tool, not unlike a huge claw, to beat the weft strands together until they form an exceptionally compact foundation for the pile. This makes the rug extremely dense and heavy, and one should never fold a Bidjar because the warp and weft are so tightly pressed together that they could easily break; it also makes them among the most hard-wearing items produced anymore in the world. Bidjars are usually woven on cotton warps, although wool is not unknown. For the pile good quality lustrous wool is used and may be clipped low/medium to medium/high. A number of designs are employed, but floral, herati and mina-khani schemes, with or without a central medallion, are those most frequently encountered. The palette is essentially rich, with dark blues, cherry red and bottle green providing the most common ground colours, and ivory, ochres and turquoise dominating the motifs; the finest items are as aesthetically satisfying as they are structurally sound. Bidjar designs, particularly floral medallion and herati schemes, are copied by Indian weavers, but are easily distinguished from the originals by their paler, more pastel colours; Indo-Bidjars possess none of the structural qualities of Persian Bidjars. Both Indian and Persian items are produced in all standard Persian sizes, from small mats to carpets.
Resale value: Bidjars represent excellent value and are one of the safer investments. Not only are they extremely durable, but due to the very small numbers produced each year, they are also becoming increasingly rare.