(Posted on 02/08/16)
The small town of Heriz is the centre of one of the weaving areas in Azerbaijan, and has given its name to one of the most important Persian provenances. Carpets from the town’s workshops are of better quality than those from the inaccessible mountain villages. The typical Heriz red and a highly individual medallion are the main characteristics of these popular carpets. Old and antique examples, in various blue tones, are occasionally found in the trade and at auctions. Brown, beige and turquoise shades indicate older pieces. Heriz silk carpets are exceptionally finely knotted and are both rare and very beautiful. The designs of old Heriz rugs differ radically from those of new pieces.
Sizes: In general, carpets are made in sizes of 6, 12, and up to 20 sq. m. other formats are occasionally available, e.g. old and antique wide Heriz runners, prayer rugs, etc.
Colours: Mostly the typical dark Heriz red, brown and beige. Blue is used as contrast and contour colours. New pieces tend to be rather unharmoniously coloured. Old and antique carpets are sometimes found in large formats and in wonderful blue and turquoise shades.
Patterns: Centre medallions are often richly decorated and have a characteristic, rather rectangular shape. Filler motifs include arabesques, palmettes and rosettes in colourful repeats. Also characteristic are the square and rectangular corners in the field, often decorated with arabesques.
Foundation: Warps and wefts are of cotton; those of old and antique pieces may be of silk.
Knots: Coarsely woven in the Turkish knot with up to 1,000 knots per sq. dm. Silk carpets are very finely woven.
Pile: Good quality wool, clipped high. Silk piles are cut low.
Quality: Mostly good to very good. It is worth learning to distinguish the different qualities. Old and antique Heriz carpets belong to the best carpets on the market.