Carpet in the Passage of History
Carpet in the passage of history
There is no information about the first woven carpets and people who have made them. Because rugs get ruined when exposed to the humidity and insects. But it is assumed that the first tribes of central Asia whose job was herding and had wool, the required material for rugs, have first tried to make them.
At first some pieces of rugs from the third and fourth century A.D were found in East Turkistan. They had the sign of decorative diamond shapes which belong to the period of developed rug techniques. The rug of the east belong to different parts of Asia and the main trait of that is knotting by hand.
In 1947 a rug was found in a region called Pazinic. This carpet obviously shows that the Iranian carpet design and reminds engravings of Persepolis. This rug is of knotting kind with green, lateritious, burgundy and brown colors. This rug is decorated by riders and running deer and also red flowers making two decorative line strings. The shape, surface, and texture of this rug is significant. Because not only did it take the creation and invention course of knotting rugs to tens of centuries ago, but also shook all the formulated theories about the origin of rug and the ways of its circulation and techniques.
Ardman considers this matter that the technique which is used in this kind of rugs is absolutely different from knotting and the texture used in them is knotting by crocket. For making usual knots, all weavers except in Tabriz rugs use only their fingers. Then cut the wool with their desired length by knife or scissors and makes the surface of the carpet. The most basic theory about this kind of rug is that the first creators were from nomadic and semi-nomadic people.
Undoubtedly, the aim of this people was simple imitation of animals’ skin and spreading them on the floor of their tent for confronting with cold.
Attempts of all researchers and cognoscente failed to take the history of producing carpet to a time beyond the AH tenth century, but discovering the “Pazinic” carpet enhanced the history of existence of carpet in Iran to about 2500 years.
After the discovery of this carpet, the theory of most researchers based on this subject that Turk Seljuk people or other migrant tribes brought carpet to Iran for the first time was rejected and indicated that 25 centuries ago carpet weaving in an improved way with definite design and color and weaving at least in some part of Iran was common.
Carpet weaving in Iran at the beginning of Arabs domination was deflated in some extent, because despite being eminent in the art of pottery, Arabs had no occasion to mat and carpet as their racial and regional condition did not required that, so they have not cared about carpet weaving techniques so much in no epoch of history. On the other hand, in unceremonious custom of preliminary Islam there were no place for carpet weaving, at least for the luxurious ones. The deflation of carpet weaving in Iran continuous until Abbasid and Umayyad caliphs who could not avoid Iranian precious and exquisite carpet to decorate their legendary palaces. In historical resources Iranian carpet is mentioned repeatedly as local governors’ gifts for Tigris caliphs.
The only carpet left from Sassanid era is “Bahar Khosro” which is known as “Baharestan”. From other carpets just descriptions in old writings is left. Then in 416 solar year Tork Seljuk occupied most of Iran and inhabited in Azerbaijan and central and eastern regions of Iran. Their language and culture was taken to this territory after this attack and was mixed with Iran art and culture. Accordingly the design of Iran rug design was effected by Seljuk design. Today there is no sign of the carpets of that period.
Carpet weaving in Iran thrives and blossoms till Mongol invasion and it stops for a while like other arts until the Timurid dynasty that Iran carpet started to blossom again and at the end of this dynasty reached the summit with flourish.
In Safavid epoch the peak of glory and wonder of the art of carpet weaving starts. In this period carpet weaving is done in big cities, specially Isfahan and Tabriz. With the extinction of Safavid, decline of carpet weaving art begins and after the war between Iran and Russia ends, it starts to revive.
Today different kinds of decorative and silk carpets are produced. Carpet weaving is one of important traditional industry of Iran and is common in different cities such as Kerman, Azerbaijan, Mashhad, Hamedan, Kurdistan, Kashan, Shiraz, Qom, Arak, Yazd, and Gorgan.