A typical Gabbeh carpet with its rough look and slightly naive pattern.

Gabbeh (from the Persian language farsi; raw, natural, uncut) represents a rough and primitive carpet with patterns mostly made by Ghashghai nomads from the Farsi province in the southwest of Iran. These carpets are probably the most well-known handmade carpets from Iran. They are manufactured by handspun wool, both in the pile and warp, and the yarns are dyed using plant dyes. The carpets are much thicker than other Persian carpets, sometimes up to 2.5 cm thick.

The patterns of the carpet are of a simple type with only a few elements of decorative, mostly rectangular objects containing animals. During the last decades, the weavers have had to meet the demands of the west and have therefore, resorted to using large light fields with chary pattering in the Gabbeh carpets.

Weavers from India have acted quickly to copy these carpets, but one must pay attention to this as there is a major difference between a Persian and a Indo Gabbeh carpet. Mostly this can be determined by the quality of the wool that is noticable, the Persian variant is much softer. The Persian variant is also much more durable and the quality is definitely better.

At present, there are different names given to Gabbeh carpets such as Basic, Amalehbaft, Kashkooli, Luribaft, Sumak and Baluch Gabbeh. A Gabbeh Kashkooli is a carpet with a higher knot density and a shorter pile than the usual Gabbeh carpets.

Some examples of Gabbeh carpets:

Technical specifications:
Pile: wool yarn
Weft: wool yarn, generally 2 wefts after every row of knots
Warp: wool yarn
Knot: symmetrical
Knot density: 40 000 - 170 000 knots per square metre

Inspiration for the patterns are gathered from the beauty of the nature.
Camping nomads out in the desert.
The nomads take their sheep to the hillsides for summer pasturage.

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