Kerman Rugs – Since the seventeenth century, Kerman has been a major center for the production of high-quality carpets. The so-called Vase Carpets of the Safavid period are among the greatest masterpieces of Persian weaving. When Persian rug production moved into high gear in the later nineteenth century, Kerman once again emerged as a producer of the finest carpets in the best Persian tradition.
Kerman carpets of this period, particularly the Lavar type, are known for the fineness of their weave and for their elegantly drawn designs of classical derivation, both in allover and central medallion formats. The palettes of Kerman rugs are extremely varied and it ranges from examples which emphasize ivory, blue, and magenta rug tones to those with a more golden, saffron cast.
Kerman is a city and as well as a province in south central Iran. With its 60,000 inhabitants and surrounding villages, it is one of the major rug producing areas of Iran. Unlike other parts of Persia, Kerman existed with relatively no interference from invasions, mostly due to its provincial isolation. As a result, the arts in Kerman flourished. Antique Kerman rugs are easily recognizable with curvilinear graceful floral designs in a brilliant assortment of colors.
The dyes of Kerman are the most varied and imaginative. The dying process is done while the wool is still in the flock, before spinning, allowing for more uniformity of color. The dyers of Kerman are renowned for their skill in producing light shades of color. Kerman is also noted for its distinctive late 16th century to mid-17th century carpets called ‘vase carpets’. This term refers to a design of all-over stylized flowers and oversized palmettes with vases placed at intervals throughout the field. Kermans are woven in all rug sizes and the foundation is often cotton. To the north of Kerman is the village of Ravar where Laver Kerman rugs are made. These rugs are rarer than Kermans and the name is used as a distinction of quality.
Among all Persian rugs, none may be argued to be more elegant and refined as those produced in the city of Kerman. Kerman rugs often feature traditional Persian reds and blues or variations thereof and are nearly always floral and curvilinear in design. The fineness and quality antique rugs of Kerman weaves in combination with their traditional Persian floral designs make them ideal for those wishing to add grace and grandeur to the formal spaces of their home.
All natural dyes are paramount for the carpet to have more than just decorative value. Beyond that, various dyers had varying levels of skill and invested different lengths of time in dyeing the yarns. The “quality of color”–its radiance and level of nuance within each color–is centrally important. Certain rare colors such as Tyrian purple, saffron yellow, cochineal rose and greens add to the carpet’s value.