Drawing a pattern to a carpet is extensive and demanding work.

When speaking about patterns and carpet manufacturing these are often divided into three categories; curvilinear, geometric and figural patterns. There are many frequent named patterns, we will mention a few of the most common ones. These patterns can decorate a small part of a carpet or be used in an overall motif.

From the pattern on a carpet it is possible to see what style and also which origin the carpet has. The size and colours that are used also contributes to the answer of the carpets origin.

The pattern is the most obvious and perhaps the most important characteristic in a carpet. Around the cities and in the workshops, much time is emphasized on developing and refining the old traditional patterns which are all first drawn by hand on paper.

The nomads tie patterns directly from their memory

Curvilinear patterns

Patterns created with fine, curving lines are called curvilinear patterns. These kind of patterns can occur in every type of carpets, from the ones with medallions to the all-over. To create this kind of fine lines a higher knot density is demanded in the carpet.

When manufacturing carpets with curvilinear pattern, clear design plates are used, know as talim, on which every square resembles a knot in the carpet. This technique is used mainly in workshops creating finer carpets.

Typical examples of curvilinear patterns, from the left: Nain, Kerman and Ghom.

Representative carpets for this style are for example Kerman, Isfahan, Nain and Ghom.

Geometrical patterns

Patterns that are created with straight lines are called geometrical and can be recognized by its straight angles, diagonals, triangels and other geometrical shapes.

Geometrical patterns can be seen on carpets with medallion-motifs and all-over motifs. These patterns are often seen in carpets made by nomads and, in some cases in village carpets. Carpets that are made by nomads are often more simple in their styles, while the village carpets can have a little more complex geometrical patterns.

Caucasian carpets are good examples of carpets with geometrical patterns.

Figural patterns

Figuralt mönster ej att förväxla med heltäckande s k jaktmotiv.

Figural carpets often portrait people and/or animals and are often based on history or mythology. It is not common with natural and realistic depictions of humans and animals in the East, since Islam prohibids reproduction of living creatures. This is one of the reason why these carpets are very rare. When shown they often consist of one or more characters that sometimes portray a historical event.

Todays figural carpets are made mainly in workshops in Iran (Isfahan ) , India and in Pakistan. Sometimes, it is possible to find figural carpets made by nomads. Since the beginning of the 20th century figural carpets are also made in China, but they do not exist at all in for example in Afghanistan, Turkey or in the Caucasian area.

To the right: A figural carpet tied by Ghashghai nomads.

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