Sharbian rugs originate from Sharbian, located in the Province of Azerbaijan in northwestern Iran close to Heriz. Sharbian enjoys the same rich history of Persian carpet making as its neighbor Heriz. Due in large part to their close proximity geographically, the similarities in both color and design in a Persian carpet from Sharbian and one from Heriz are quite striking. The art of Persian carpet weaving in Sharbian is much as it was thousands of years ago. The skilled artisans learn their craft from elder family members and it continues even today to be passed down through the generations. The looms used to create Sharbian rugs have not changed much in millennia and Turkish knots are still used.
A large square shaped medallion in black or navy set in a lighter field is typical of Sharbian rugs. At one time these large geometric medallions were referred to as shield patterns. On Sharbian rugs the medallions are clearly defined on a deep red or dark blue background with ivory providing a beautiful contrast. The patterns within Sharbian rugs form geometric shapes such as diamonds, triangles, squares, and other angular patterns. The borders typically feature a large scale turtle design. Natural vegetable dyes create the rich earth tones that give Sharbian rugs such a majestic appearance.
The foundation of Sharbian rugs is cotton, giving it strength and durability. The pile is thick and made from handspun wool that comes from the sheep in the region. Sharbian rugs are well known to be boldly designed, richly colored, firmly woven, and predominantly large in size. It is unusual to find smaller sizes. Renowned for its exquisite designs, majestic palette, and superb quality of materials and craftsmanship, Sharbian rugs can continue to be used for centuries while maintaining its beauty and luster.
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