I have added the informative pages about Persian rugs to my website and in this page I would like to share with you some of the common designs, details and important info about Tabriz Persian rugs. IMPORTANT: If you own a Tabriz rug and/or are looking at buying one, feel free to look over the various sections of popular designs and designs.
Tabriz Persian Rugs
Left Picture: Workers working and/or repairing rugs in the bazaar in Tabriz. Since the actual rug stores are fairly small in size, it is common that when rugs need to be worked or displayed, the workers will work on the rugs in the middle of the bazaar.
Right Picture: One of the many sections in the Tabriz bazaar and a perfect example of the layout. This part of the rug bazaar is made up of stores that offer commercial grade Tabriz rugs and as you can see, the piles of rugs are simply placed outside of the actual stores, which are typically the size of small offices. Since the bazaar is an enclosed building, each section is a gated part where the gatekeepers also serve as a guardians. It is typical for the gatekeepers to lock the gates at night and the night shift will watch over the rugs which allows the businesses to keep their merchandise outside of their stores without the fear of theft.
The main bazaar in Tabriz, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, is located in the city center of Tabriz, the capital of East Azarbaijan Province in northwestern Iran. It is one of the main shopping and commercial centers in the entire region and has many vast domed sections, structures and spaces for different trades and social events. The bazaar originally dates back to over a thousand years ago, however the majority of its remaining and still used facilities date from the 15th century. Tabriz was a main trading center on the silk route and as a result was greatly influenced by the influx of different cultures and people. This is best seen in the many different designs and colors that are commonly used in the Tabriz rugs as you will see below.
Examples of Tabriz Persian Rugs
General Specifics about Tabriz Persian Rugs
Tabriz rugs are by far the most popular of Persian rugs and especially the higher quality are the very benchmark of what Persian rugs are known for. Unlike most of the other Persian rug centers, Tabriz was for centuries a trading hub and as a result constantly influenced by new ideas and different cultures. A perfect example of this broad spectrum of influence can be seen in the Persian rugs from Tabriz, who are known for their variety of colors, designs, shapes, qualities and pictorial rugs. Whereas the Persian rugs from most regions can be predicted in terms of colors and design, there is a wide variety in Tabriz rugs. However, all Tabriz share several trademarks and are based on a quality measurement known as Raj.
The Importance of RAJ:
IMPORTANT Tip: Raj is used in Tabriz rugs ONLY, so if you see a rug seller using the Raj for rugs other than Tabriz, you are dealing with someone who is clueless about Persian rugs.
Raj is a form of measurement with a clouded origin. I have heard that the measurement is based on cigarette boxes or that it dates back to the ancient cultures. Depending on who you ask and what mood they are in, you will get a different answer, but what everyone agrees on is its length, which is 68mm or a bit over 2,5 inches. The quality of Tabriz rugs are measured by how many knots are counted in the distance of 1 raj. So, Tabriz rugs up to 30 Raj are considered commercial grade, 40-45 raj are standard quality and starting with the 50 Raj you are entering the roam of Tabriz rugs that made them the benchmark of high quality.
Overview of the qualities in Tabriz rugs:
Up to 40 Raj:
Tabriz rugs up to 40 Raj tend to be commercial grade and generally fairly inexpensive. These rugs are typically wool rugs with traditional designs made of the most common colors, which are a rusty red, dark blues and beige. If you look at the top right picture of the bazaar, you can see piles of them and they are very common and inexpensive. The foundation of these rugs is cotton. 40-45 Raj:
Tabriz rugs in the 40 and 45 Raj quality tend to have a bit tighter pile and a larger diversity of colors, designs and the introduction of silk in the pile. While the ones on the lower spectrum tend to still have many of the commercial looks and feels to them, the finer ones can be very nice pieces. 50 Raj: The Beginning of the High Quality
Starting with the 50 raj Tabriz rugs, you are now entering the high quality range with a large diversity of colors, shapes, and designs. In addition, most 50 Raj Tabriz rugs have silk in the pile and the pile is not made of standard wool, but lambwool also known as Kurkwool. This gives the fine Tabriz rugs the luxurious quality and durability that they are known for. This is also the quality where you start to find many odd shaped pieces like the round, square and other uniquely shaped rugs. The foundation of these rugs is cotton. 55 Raj: Basically, a 50 Raj with a Silk Foundation
The 55 Raj Tabriz rugs are very similar in all aspects to the 50 Raj pieces except that 99% have a silk foundation instead of a cotton. In addition, the details are at times more intricate and many pictorial pieces are also made with a 55 Raj quality since the silk is easier to work with and allows greater attention to tiny details. 60 Raj: Stunning Silk Foundation
The 60 Raj Tabriz rugs are fine silk foundation pieces that are like the 55 Raj, but finer. WARNING: Many dealers advertise 55 Raj Tabriz rugs as 60 Raj since both are very similar. If you are looking at an advertised 60 Raj Tabriz rug, make sure to count the kpsi or kpsm yourself, which I will discuss below. Genuine 60 Raj pieces tend to have around 400 kpsi and they are very fine and intricate. The are the highest quality Tabriz rugs before you enter the roam of rugs reserved for the top 1%ers... 70+ Raj: The best and finest
Once you enter the 70+ Raj Tabriz rugs, you are entering a world of its own. This is where the Tabriz rugs are so fine and detailed, that they rival the pure silk Qom rugs even though Tabriz rugs tend to have a fine wool and silk pile. If you look at the ones in my galleries, you can see by the prices that these are the best of the best and are treated like artpieces.
IMPORTANT: Beware of rug dealers exaggerating the quality!!
Please note that I am not trying to promote myself and what I stating is based on 20+ years of getting emails and calls from my clients. As I described above, some retailers will state that rugs have a higher Raj quality than the rugs actually have and the same goes for the kpsi. In case you do not know how to measure, please go my Guide to Persian rugs by clicking here and if you look at tip #4, I show you how to do it.
Video about Tabriz Persian rugs - Info & Examples
The 20 minute video I made for you will give you some added information about Tabriz Persian rugs, tips for buyers with examples of different type of qualities in Tabriz rugs.
Below are some of our current Tabriz Persian rugs and to see all of them, click here: Tabriz Persian Rugs