A Persian rug is a type of heavy decorative textile from Iran. Before the 20th century AD, ancient Iran was called Persia. This is why people call Persian rugs Iranian rugs or Iranian carpets. Persian rugs have a long and rich history – some scholars estimate that first pile carpets might have appeared there 2500 years ago! Out of all oriental rugs made within the ‘Rug Belt’, Persian carpets have always enjoyed the greatest popularity and prestige. Refined workmanship, a huge variety of awe-inspiring designs and deep cultural significance are all attributes of Persian rugs.
Persian rugs are commonly considered the most “authentic” of all antique rugs, however, this is not entirely true. In fact, they have always competed with Turkish (Anatolian) rugs – we may safely assume that both types played a significant role in the stylistic development of woven fabrics.
Genuine Persian rugs have a complex, “calligraphic” character. Pattern and line are the most important features of Persian carpets which make them truly stand out from the rest. However, sometimes, Persian weavers implement motifs in the geometric style into their designs which results in abstract or stylized angular figures. Nonetheless, the curvilinear style has always dominated in Persian rugs and is the reason behind their worldwide success. Despite tribal wars, migrations, rebellions, and commercial impact, the art of Persian rug-weaving has endured and flourished. Rug-weaving methods developed by ancient oriental cultures are so refined that they have changed very little over time.