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History of Bakhtiari Rugs

Bakhtiari carpets are woven in numerous villages in a large area south west of Ishahan called the Chahar Mahal. They are woven by Armenian, Kurdish, and Turkish villages as well as Bakhtari tribes. Isfahan serves as the major market center for carpets to this area.

The most common designs woven in Bakhtiari rugs are the medallion, panel, and lozenge designs. The field of the panel design is divided into rectangular compartments. Each of which contains one of a variety of motifs: flowers, trees, boteh, or palmettos. This design was adopted from the matrix formed by the irrigation channels in Persian gardens. The lozenge design is similar to the panel in that the field is segmented by repeating lozenges. Each lozenge contains a small motif similar to those used in the paned design. This design is commonly found in older and antique Bakhtiari carpets. The medallion superimposed on a field filled with stylized floral patterns.

Another type of Medallion design is that of a large stylize floral bouquet, referred to as a Gul-I-Franc, which is contained within a medallion. The colors of Bakhtiari rugs can vary from somber with a predominant use of browns and rust-red tones to very bright with pink, white, and orange. The colors found in old Bakhtiari rugs are mellow with rich deep shades of red, blue, white, green, and gold. Bakhtiari rugs can vary greatly in quality. The ones with the supreme quality are woven in the village of Chalshator. These rugs are finely woven with cotton warps and a single wool weft.

Rugs from Shahr-e-Kord are slightly less finely woven, with cotton warps and two shoots of wool weft. They have a stiffer handle and are not as supple as the Bakhtiari rugs from Chalshator. Saman rugs are not as finely woven as those from Shahr-e-Kord. They have a thicker pile and are stiffer to the touch. In general the heavy wool used in Bakhtiari rugs is very durable and ideal for heavy traffic. Modern Bakhtiari rugs are woven in all sizes: Room size, small rugs and runners.