Kerman (or Kirman) rugs are widely recognized as one of the greatest antique Persian carpets. Why are they so exceptional? Mostly because of the high quality wool (called Carmania) that is used for their production. That’s not the only reason though.
It is hardly possible to find two completely identical Kerman rugs and this fact makes them so rare and original. Nevertheless, they can be easily distinguished thanks to some typical motifs characteristic to this category of carpets, like Damask rose, vases, animal shapes, stripes.
The production of these Persian rugs takes place in Kerman – the city and province in central Iran. Kerman rugs have been manufactured there since the 15th century. Within antique Kerman rugs we can distinguish Lavar Kerman Rugs, which have the reputation of being even more precious. Again, they are named after a town, or more precisely a village, which is located near Kerman. Floral motifs and clear colors are characteristic of Lavar rugs. Technical differences are also considerable. Kerman rug is usually mid to lower end of the scale, whereas Lavar rug – towards the upper end of the range. As a curiosity, most of the Lavar carpets have signatures on them. It is either a name of the person that was creating it, or the one for whom it was woven.
The whole technique of creating Persian rugs is highly absorbing. What is worth noting is the fact that Persian carpets, as well as all Oriental rugs, are hand-knotted. The process of making a rug begins with tying the material (e.g. wool or silk) around the warps using one of the different knots. For most of the Persian rugs the Turkish knotting is being used. Kerman rugs however, use Persian knotting. At this juncture, when each row of knots is finished (with a particular colored wool combination that forms patterns), a weft strand is packed tightly between two rows – the existing one and the new one. Thanks to this, the whole construction is solid and durable. The process of producing such a rug is highly tedious and meticulous. It can sometimes take a couple of months to achieve the desired results.
The materials from which Persian rugs are made are: wool, silk and cotton. Nevertheless, wool is the most common one because of its availability and longevity.
Persian rug weavers use either natural and vegetable dyes or chemical ones. Both types of coloring have their pros and cons. Using chemical dyes, weavers can obtain more striking and vivid colors; on the other hand, vegetable dyes provide more natural ones. Indigo, madder or larkspur are some of the most frequently used vegetable dyes which produce an impressive color palette – dark rusty-red, dark navy-blue and muted gold.
Kerman rugs are valued for their first-rate quality, tensile strength and general lastingness. They are woven in various sizes and in different combination of colors.