EghtesadOnline: Khorasan has long been one of the leading centers for production of famous Persian carpet. This industry with its bright history and brilliant products has a very special prominence in this province.
“Khorasan which has high potential in carpet manufacturing is one of the most prominent hubs of Persian carpet in terms of basic raw materials ” Abdollah Ahrari, Member of Iran Carpet Scientific Association said in an exclusive interview with ISNA.
“The population of Khorasan is extremely varied. It consists principally of Persians, Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Mongols, Baluch, and smaller groups of Jews, Gypsies, and Lors so Persian carpets and rugs of various types were woven in this area and this is why Khorasan is known as a Persian’s carpet hub,” he added.
Khorasan was the largest province of Iran until it was divided into three provinces of North Khorasan, South Khorasan and Razavi Khorasan in September 2004. For centuries it has been the land of great religious, literary and political figures such as the great poet Ferdowsi, Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet Omar Khayyam and etc.
“This province has strategic position and economic importance because it was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv in the East and also it shares borders with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan,” Ahrari noted.
This art underwent many changes in various eras of the Iranian history to an extent that it passed an upward trend before the Islamic era until the Mongols invasion of Iran. After the invasion, the art began to grow again during the reign of the Mongol dynasties of Timurid and Ilkhanid.
Russian archaeologists Rudenko and Griaznov in 1949 discovered the oldest known "knotted" carpet in the Pazyryk valley, about 5000 feet up on the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Dating back to the fifth century BCE the Pazyryk carpet is of rare beauty and woven with great technical skill. It was found preserved in the frozen tombs of Scythian chiefs, which were 2400 to 2500 years old, it is now kept in the Hermitage Museum of Leningrad. Another rug found in the same area, dates back to the first century BCE. It is now kept in the Hermitage Museum of Leningrad.
Designing and coloring of Khorasan Carpets
“Carpets of Khorasan are woven with Turkish and Persian knots. Some of the well-known motifs in Khorasan are Lachak-Toranj bouquet of flower, Shah Abbasi’s scattered style, Boteh carpet style, vase style carpet and Harati style,” Ahrari went on to say.
Rugs and carpets from different part of Khorasan have also geometric patterns. These kinds of designs were woven particularly by some ethnical group of Khorasan such as baluchi and turkman.
This carpet researcher said that the carpet of Khorasan is different in terms of design, color, and number of knots with other parts of the country. Some of the most important carpet designers of Khorasan are as follows: Alipour, Sheikh Borangi ,Khadivi, Amou-Oghlii, Makhmalbaf and Saber.
Khorasan carpets are famous for their vivid purplish red or vivid red background (Laky); the natural red color is obtained from a plant with red granule that is only grown in Khorasan region. In general, colors that are used in Khorasan’s carpets are: vivid purplish red or vivid red, jujube red, blue, dark blue, Brown, all kinds of green and crème or custard.
Khorasan’s share of global carpet market
“Khorasan is one of the major livestock production centers in Iran. The basic raw materials for carpets are natural fibers, of which sheep wool is important. In different parts of Persia different kinds of sheep are raised, depending on the prevailing climate and available pasturage. In colder areas, for example, the sheep produce a finer, long-staple wool fiber that of Khorasan is particularly fine,” Ahrari added.
“Increasing interest has naturally also brought about increased demand for art-level persian rugs. Khorasan rugs are most famous of Persian carpet design for their unparalleled beauty and quality”.
The limelight of carpet weaving in the Khorasan province, at the moment, are as follows: Mashhad, Niyshabour, Sabzevar and etc. Weaving carpets is a handicraft in which women are highly involved in villages and small cities around Khorasan.
Iran exported 5,741 tons of hand-woven carpets worth over $359 million over 2016, registering a 13% and 23% growth in volume and value respectively compared with the year before. The US had a 90-million-dollar share, which is even bigger than the pre-sanctions export value.
“America, Germany, Lebanon, Japan, United Arab Emirate are some of top costumers of Persian carpet,” he continued.