There is not one nor two types of these Oriental wonders – their variety is immense as they were woven in parallel by nomadic tribes, in village and town workshops, and by royal manufactories alike.
Therefore, many different traditions have developed simultaneously, constituting the reflection of the great history of Iran and the incredible diversity of its peoples. Laborious, valuable and surrounded by certain reverence, Persian carpets are one of the best preserved historical sources. Due to the masterful execution and good storage conditions, some of them have survived as long as thousands of years. The most notable example is the famed Pazyryk rug, which had lasted frozen in a burial tomb of a Scythian Prince for over 2500 years, before it was excavated by Russian archeologists in 1949 in a territory if present day Mongolia.
There are many different schools of Persian weaving so it is hard to speak of particular characteristics regarding these exquisite rugs in general. Nonetheless, they have one trait in common – the unmatched quality. Regional centers and towns such as Tabriz, Qom, Isfahan, Mashhad, Kerman or Nain have always been known to feature firs-rate materials, colors and patterns, as well as specific weaving techniques , shrouded in mystery even until this day.
The bloom of Persian craftsmanship on a large scale can be estimated at the 16th century, during the time of Safavid dynasty reign. It is then that the outstanding Tabriz and Isfahan weaving centers have been created and set the bar for other rug schools incredibly high, at the same time reviving the tradition of carpet weaving after periods of decline. The carpets woven in the Safavid court manufactories of Isfahan during the sixteenth century are famous for their elaborate colors and creative motifs, and are treasured in museums and private collections all over the world today. Their patterns and designs have established the aesthetic tradition for court manufactories which was kept alive during the entire duration of the Persian Empire up to the last royal dynasty of Iran.