A really beautiful 5.6 x 6.10 village rug Northwest Iran, circa 1920-40. It has a medium pile and is in excellent condition. Note that the designs are not symmetrical or even the same from side to side. The woman who wove this rug did so from memory, using colors and designs indigenous to her village but creating the designs as she went along. A true and beautiful weaving. It spent its life in Iran, perhaps with the family who wove it and imported it here in 2015 before the embargo. A wonderful addition to any home..
Village rugs, then and now, are woven in the various villages as a source of extra income for the family. The designs and colors used are traditional to that village or tribe and knotted from memory in the home. The wool yarn used are often from their own sheep where the men take care of the animals and do the shearing, the women card and spin the wool into yarn. The men (usually) do the dying and hand it over to the wife and his daughters to make the rug. Once finished it is used in the home or the men take it to a local market on market day to sell to wholesalers/exporters who come from the city to buy. Village rugs are the very essence of rug making, and no two are ever the same, showing the creative spirit and the way rugs were made from time immortal. Here is art coming to you from the distant past to be enjoyed in your home as it has been since long ago, and hopefully for generations to come.
What to look for in Village or primitive weavings. There are several signs in the rug to indicate it was a village or tribal rug.
- The change of color of the yarn being used called abrash. This is due to the weaver having to make a new batch of dyed yarn with the consequence of not matching once completed and sheared. The wool dying is done usually in small cooking pots with no precise way of measuring the amount of dyestuff being used. All the dyes used here are old vegetable dyes. This will create a variation in the colors which becomes more apparent with age. Often, she runs out of say blue yarn and will use another color that she has. All great signs of a non-commercial or city rug.
- Non-uniformity of design. Since village rugs are not copied from a prepared drawing you can expect to see design elements different from side-to-side and end-to-end. The weaver often incorporates small farm animals, household items, or other familiar objects to personalize her rug. Some weavers are more experienced than others and show a more orderly layout in her weaving.
- Lines not straight. Another beauty and feature of these rugs can be the unevenness of lines. She doesn’t have the advantage of a drawing to guide her and consequently, lines may not be straight, center designs not centered or perfectly symmetrical, and other irregularities. All of which define the beauty, charm, and uniqueness of these special antique weavings. In the past, these primitive rugs were looked down upon as “unsophisticated” but have become very cherished and collectible now. Many are also used today as wall hangings. Woven Art.