A Koliai carpet, handmade by semi nomadic koliais (Kurdish).

The main part of the population in Iran is of Persian origin, but there are also minorities. One of these are the Kurds who mainly live in the western parts of the country in the provinces of Kurdestan, Zandjan and Kermanshah. They used to live like nomads, but are nowadays more resident and practise agriculture and stock farming. The men can be recognized by their outfits with baggy pants and a wide belt. About five million Kurds live in Iran and large Kurdish areas can also be found in Turkey and western Iraq.

The Kurds are known as good carpet weavers. The carpets are firmly tied with a high pile and a saturated colour scale. Older Koliai carpets are woven on a warp of wool, while the younger has a cotton warp, both with two wefts between the rows of knots. Their patterns often have large, geometrical figures in dull colours. A pattern with small diagonally placed squares is also common. The workmanship is strong; the carpets are heavy and compact with good durability. The classical measures are 150-160x300-330 cm, rather narrow in relation to the length.

Kurdish village carpets are usually sold under the name Koliai (also Kolyai) or Songhur. Other carpets woven by the Kurds are Senneh which are described elsewere on this website.

Some examples of Koliai carpets:

Technical specifications:
Pile: rough wool yarn of good quality
Weft: cotton yarn, usually one weft after every row of knots
Warp: cotton yarn
Knot: symmetrical
Knot density: 80 000 - 250 000 knots per square metre

Share this article:

For it's correct content this site was awarded: