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Persian Hamadan rugs

I am going to write about Hamadan rugs today. One reason I do this is that lots of Persian rugs in the market are woven in Hamadan. Hamadan is a province in Iran with the same name city as capital of the province. It is located in mid western Iran in a mountainous region in foothills of Alvan mountain. Hamadan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world. According to an inscription from the first Assyrian king, Hamadan’s construction is dated at 1100 BC, but some historians believe it dates back to 3000 BC. It’s ancient name was Ecbatana and capital of Achaemenids. Hamadan is mentioned in the biblical book of Ezra as the place where a scroll was found giving the Jews permission from King Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 6:2). Its ancient name of Ecbatana is used in the Ezra text.
Hamadan is in the vicinity of the Alvand mountains and has a cold, mountainous climate, with snowy winters. In fact, it is one of the coldest cities in Iran. The temperature may drop below -30°C on the coldest days. Heavy snowfall is common during winter and this can persist for periods of up to two months. During the short summer, the weather is mild, pleasant, and mostly sunny.

Hamadan as a city and province has long been known for it’s exceptional handicrafts, especially rug making. Carpets from this region incorporate designs from the approx. 1,500 surrounding villages. On average, two distinct designs have been produced from each village, giving an astonishing 3,000 different types of Hamadan rugs. So you’ll see lots of Persian rugs that fall under Hamadan rug category. Some famous rugs from Hamadan are: Nahavand, Tuyserkan, Asadabad, BibikAbad.

Hamadan rugs are heavy and substantial, they are made with high quality, thick wool. A distinctive feature in Hamadan rugs is single weft. Another identifying feature in Hamadans is a geometric diamond or hexagon medallion pattern, usually with  medallion-and-corner design, or all-over boteh or Herati. Common field colors include red, blue, dark brown and camel, with motifs and outlines often in black, green, and gold.

Hamadan rugs are woven using Turkish knots. Once each row is woven on the loom, a thick weft is combed on it and another row is started. Wefts in Hamadan rugs are usually much thicker than warp. If you turn the rug over you’ll see distinctive thick lines of wefts. I post some samples of Hamadan rug. As I mentioned above there are about 1500 small cities, and villages around Hamadan, and each has its own type of design.  So it’s a very wide variety. Just one of  the reasons Persian rugs are so famous! Each rug is unique; a true work of art.  They are not mass produced in factories as they do in China, India, or Pakistan. When you own one, you own a piece of art!

In the next post I will write about a repair of a rug from Hamadan. A BibikAbad rug.