Centuries-old Gabbehcarpets are renowned as coarsely woven, rough and primitive tribal rugs. The name is Persian for raw, natural, uncut. It is made in Iran in the province of Fars, by various tribes.
Traditionally, the crafting of these carpets is the expertise of women, who are often seen spinning the long-fibred wool by hand. These nomadic rugs are almost exclusively knotted for personal use, and the natural artisanship of the women is apparent, whether they are depicting a scene or conveying an emotion. Gabbeh rug designs are usually asymmetrical. Their random creation makes a genuine Gabbeh a unique work of art, distinct from other Persian rugs.
Geometry is a favorite subject
Gabbeh patterns are very basic with mostly rectangular objects resembling mainly animals. These rugs are usually brightly colored, predominantly in yellow and red.
Within the Gabbeh family there are quite a few choices, including;
- Basic Gabbeh – this weave is coarse, with few knots per inch and a thick, plush wool pile. Simple geometric shapes and bold, bright colors often have tribal-type drawings of people and animals.
- Amallehbaft Gabbeh – a medium weave and shorter pile with designs even more simple than Basic. These add color to a room without distracting design elements.
- Kashkoli Gabbeh – a fine weave with short soft pile that has a beautiful sheen to show off sparse colorful geometric patterns.
- Luribaft Gabbeh — a fine weave made with high-quality wool as well as more sophisticated design elements.
- Gabbeh Sumak – a flat weave with colorful tribal designs woven right into the foundation.
- Baluch Sumack – beautiful, finely detailed tribal designs with more subdued colors.
A Natural Choice
Gabbehs are made of natural, hand spun wool and all the colors are created with natural dye, extracted from native plants and roots. The results are not a pure color, but rather a mix of similar hues, which gives Gabbehs their rich texture and definitive nomadic appeal.
Due to the relative ease of production, a Gabbeh rug is one of the less expensive varieties of Persian carpet. However, well cared-for Gabbeh rugs typically appreciate with use and age.
Below: Gabbeh before and after cleaning by revitaRUGS for Zarnegin International Rugs
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