The province of Kerman in south central Iran and its surrounding villages is one of the country’s major rug producing areas. Unlike other provinces, Kerman is isolated, so it has escaped the effects of various invasions throughout Persian history. Hence, its art flourished without influence and, beginning in the seventeenth century, it became a major center for the production of high-quality carpets.
What Are Kerman Rugs?
Antique Kerman rugs are easily recognizable with their curvilinear floral designs in a brilliant assortment of colors and sizes. Kerman is famous for its “vase carpets”, which were produced from the late 16th century to mid-17th century, and are among the greatest masterpieces of Persian weaving. From the early part of the last century, Kerman rugs, along with Heriz and Sarouk carpets, have been highly imported to the US market.
The village of Ravar, north of Kerman, is also famous for its most sought-after and distinguished Laver rugs. Their elegant, small floral designs have fine weaving carried through in all-over and central medallion styles.
The palettes of Kerman rugs are varied and range from emphasizing ivory, blue, and magenta tones to golden, saffron shades. The Damask rose motif is the most used pattern in Kerman rug designs, found mostly in Sabzikar Ravar and Gol Sorkhi (Red Rose) rugs.
Other well-known motifs in Kerman rugs are Ghab Ghora’ani, Setooni, Ghabi, Kheshti, Saraam Atiyeh, Jangali, Shekargah, Lachak-Toranj, Derakhti, and Sabzikar Ravar. When purchasing an antique Kerman, it is key that you make sure you are not confusing it with a Kermanshah rug, which has a close resemblance.
Photos: A rare antique Kerman (22 feet x 32 feet) depicting animals from Noah’s Ark, cleaned and revitalized by revitaRUGS.