(Posted on 14/02/15)
Country: Persia (Iran)
Category: village and workshop
Price range: medium to high
General detail Made in a wide area in and around the village of Sarouk in the Arak province of central Persia, they are generally of excellent quality. They are normally woven on cotton foundations, with between 160 and 400 Persian knots per sq inch, using very good quality pile wool, which may be clipped either short or medium, depending on the design.
Sarouk designs can be separated into traditional and American schemes. The former including boteh and herati compositions either in allover or medallion-and-corner formats and are sometimes referred to as Serabends or Mirs. Perhaps the most impressive traditional design is a medallion-and-corner scheme which combines angularity with stylized, although strangely naturalistic floral forms. In traditional schemes, the palette is dominated by reds, blues, burnt orange, ochres and champagne, which often have a rather penumbral cast. American Sarouks use either rich rosy reds with blue reds with blues and paler rose outlining the motifs, or, less frequently, bright pastel shades used to create the same strong contrasts between motifs and field. Sarouks are made in a range of sizes, although American designs are more common in large carpets. They are generally of very good quality, but it is important to check each item because rugs from interior groups, particularly Mahal, are sometimes passed off as Sarouks.
Resale value Sarouks generally have a very sound resale value, but over recent years this has proved to be true of traditionally designed items than those which employ American schemes.