(Posted on 21/03/15)


Country: Persia

Category: workshop and master workshop

Price range: low/medium to wealth 

General details Made in and around the town of Tabriz in the Azerbaijan district of north-west Persia, they represent the most variable Persian workshop items produced today. At their best they are as fine and aesthetically satisfying as the most accomplished Isafan or Kashan; at their worst they can be as coarsely knotted and clumsily composed as an undistinguished village rug.

Tabriz rugs are usually woven on cotton foundations (although silk is sometimes used for the finest weaves), with between 80 and 400 Turkish knots per in. The local Maku wool is very strong, if a little coarse, making the better quality items sturdy and hard-wearing. The pile may be trimmed either short or medium/long, but as a general rule the shorter the pile, the better and more finely knotted the rug.

The design repertoire is arguably the most diverse and innovative in the whole of Persia, and includes interpretations of almost every Persian and universal design; but medallion, pictorial, garden hunting, allover floral, Shah Abbas, boteh and herati schemes are the most common. In addition, Tabriz weavers have consistently evolved designs to which they have given their names (Taba Tabai, Nezam and Hady Ali, etc.). The palette is equally varied, and, depending on the market for which the rugs are destined, can be either extremely rich and vivid or more restrained.

Among contemporary Tabriz master-weavers, Pour Nami is considered the finest and most influential; the master-workshops of Sultani, Imadzadi, Nezam, Tayeh Nedjad, Shasavar Pour, Gharabaghi, Djafari, Baharestan and Mohammedi also produce items of exceptional note.Tabriz master-workshop items are sometimes mad entirely in silk, but more often employ woollen piles, which may be accentuated with silk or a combination of metallic thread and silk. Both workshop and master-workshop items are made in the widest possible range of sizes.

Resale value The finest quality Tabriz rugs are extremely sound investments, but the resale potential of the lower grades is less assured. You are unlikely to lose money on any Tabriz rug unless you were overcharged on your initial purchase.