Hand-woven rugs and carpets are produced in different settings referred to as category. Oriental rugs and carpets are generally woven in the settings of a nomadic or tribal village, and city workshops.
Tribal rugs and carpets are woven by the nomadic tribes and villagers of Iran amongst which are the Lurs, Qashqais and Bakhtiaris. For the nomads who migrate often, rug and carpet weaving is part of their culture and life rather than an occupation. They weave rugs and carpets for their everyday usage. Women are the sole rug/carpet weavers in nomadic tribes. Their expertise in rug and carpet weaving is an important factor in determining their social status.
Nomadic tribes use small horizontal looms that can be dismantled rapidly at the time of migration. As a result, nomadic rugs and carpets are usually small and are also limited in range of colors because of the use of natural dyes that are few but available in their surroundings. Tribal rugs and carpets usually have geometric patterns with bold and simple motifs. Tribal village carpets and rugs have a large influence from the nomadic groups and nearby cities, and therefore produce the widest range of styles. Many nomads have settled in villages and brought with them their traditional styles and techniques.At the same time, many village weavers accept orders from rug and carpet dealers or choose their patterns according to the demand of the market in nearby cities.
In a city workshop setting, both men and women are employed. The settings are more sophisticated than the village and nomadic settings, using large permanent vertical looms, and a wide range of synthetic dyes. The design is usually taken from a cartoon or a master weaver will call out the weaving and color of each knot. Rugs and Carpets woven in these settings are finer than tribal pieces and more exact. They are also much larger. Certain specialty workshops run by well-known master weavers weave high quality, fine pieces from the very best materials. These are woven more for their artistic integrity rather than market demand.
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