A Persian rug is more than a floor covering — it is a relic of an ancient culture and tradition. Featuring beautiful designs and symbols that are imbued with meaning, these timeless treasures are treasured by designers and collectors for their aesthetic, cultural, and historical significance.
The art of weaving Persian rugs reached its peak in the 16th century under the Safavid court manufactories of Isfahan. During this era, artisans wove room-size and oversize Persian rugs with unparalleled artistry. Today, these masterpieces of Persian design and color can be found through a limited number of specialty dealers worldwide.
These rugs are distinguished by their fine, high-quality wool and silk as well as their intricate designs and symbolic motifs. They typically use natural dyes that were derived from plants like madder roots, onion skins, safflower petals, chamomile flowers, and tanner’s sumach. These materials were a rare commodity during the production of antique rugs, so there was often a variance in color across individual pieces.
For example, a rug that came from the city of Kashan would likely be more floral and intricate in its design while one from Heriz might have large geometric medallions. The variations in color are actually a mark of authenticity as they were indicative of the individual hand of the weaver.
There are many places to purchase vintage Persian rugs, including 1stDibs and Coco Carpets. Josh Steinberg is the founder and CEO of both companies, which connect buyers with reputable sellers and makers who are selling handmade pieces. He explains that “Persian rugs are a great way to add a sophisticated, unique, and timeless touch to your space.” vintage persian rugs