Tribal Rugs

Carpet weaving is an industry that evolved alongside nomadic pastoralists and their herds of sheep.  The weavings of tribal nomads are most similar to what the earliest rugs would have looked like.  Typically they feature only a few colours in dark hues and simple, geometric motifs.  The patterns used generally identify ethnic groups and even clans and families.  One family – even one person – may have sheared the sheep, dyed the wool and woven the rug.   Tribal rugs have an honest, charming folk art quality. Wool pile and foundation are common, although cotton foundations are seen on more recently produced pieces.  Goat and camel hair are also sometimes employed.  Silk – expensive and impractical for nomads to obtain – is almost never used.   Carpets larger than 7’x10’ are rare (they’re too heavy and difficult to haul around).  Although some nomads remain in Iran, many tribespeople have settled in villages.  The rugs they produce are distinct from their nomadic brethren.