The Kurds

(Posted on 15/02/17)

The Kurds
The carpets of the mountain Kurd's that come onto the Persian market place are known as Kurdistani or Kurdish, and include those produced in the neighbouring areas of Anatolia and Iraq.  In addition, imaginative labels are devised by the trade, especially when the origin of the piece is not clear. 
The mountain Kurd's live from cotton, and tobacco cultivation, and in the north of the region predominantly from sheep and goat herding.  They are a proud people and the gun is an integral part of male dress.  The sedentary amongst them live in fortified defensible settlements.  The Kurd's are strict, mostly Shi’ite, Muslims, almost always monogamous and the women live under orthodox family discipline, although without the veil.
Sizes: small pieces, 0.80-1.50 m x 1.00-2.00 m are most common. Few runners and larger carpets are produced although small squarer are sometime found.

Colours: various shades of deep red, warm sand and brown tones are popular. Good green, blue and yellow tones are produced with natural dyes but are relatively rarely used. Synthetic dyes are found rather infrequently.

Patterns: designs are often very simple but not without charm. Floral designs are strongly and differ greatly depending on the tribal style and tradition.
Foundation: warp and weft are mainly of wool, occasionally of cotton; Anatolian Kurdish pieces are also found with warps of goats’ hair.
Knots: the weave is very coarse to coarse, in the Turkish knot, with knot densities from 500-1000 knots per sq. dm.
Pile: cut high to very high, often with a ‘floppy’ handle.
Quality: a number of different qualities can be distinguished especially in the Anatolian products some which may have discordant colours. Old and antique pieces, which can still found occasionally, are good furnishing carpets as well as being admired by many connoisseurs.