A highly durable and hardwearing Persian rug, produced particularly in the town Heriz on Mount Salaban, and in the Heriz region. New Heriz rugs are typically made from rough yarn on a cotton warp and are deeply piled and soft, although to my mind many 19thC rugs that carry signs of wear are beautiful, if not more so; they could once be picked up at auction houses very inexpensively; traditional vegetal dyed rugs develop a lovely patina. They are traditionally made in variations of tones, in blues, reds, ivory and sand–a touch of green indicates it was woven for royalty. The design is relatively rustic, woven from memory with a central geometric medallion motif surrounded by a border of stylised forms and interlocking patterns.

Apart from colour and pattern, the use of Heriz wool itself demarcates these rugs–as Mount Salaban sits on a copper reserve, the water contains traces of the mineral, endowing the local sheep with high quality and resilient wool.

I like to use an old Heriz rug with country furnishings as a ‘ground’–a more solid and equally attractive alternative to KELIMS.


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See also natural dyes, madder, Qashqai.

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