Throughout the history of Persia carpets, with their many functions and practicality, have always had a special role in the lives of Iranian people. Carpet weaving was widespread in the different regions of Iran, and the end-products show a great variety of patterns according to the makers’ different religious views and beliefs, local traditions and cultural influences. One of the most interesting and outstanding rug is the Qashqai rug, which preserved and safeguarded for centuries the cultural heritage, keeping intact the original spirit of this particular tribe.
Today handmade carpet is one of the most important Qashqai handcrafts, a necessary household item only for personal use at first, gradually increasing its popularity and gaining ascendancy but still not the recognition it would merit. With the increasing demand and diffusion of the Qashqai rugs the making and producing of them became an independent industry giving mostly the Qashqai women a real occupation and a source of income. These types of rugs are also called Fars Qashqai rugs or Shiraz Qashqai rugs, given that Qashqai populations lived largely around Shiraz, capital of Fars province in Iran.
Just like all other handmade rugs also Qashqai rugs have their unique features which differentiate them from other types of rugs.
One of the uniquenesses of Qashqai rugs is that weavers have woven rugs without using any patterns, based only on their experiences, imagination and the surrounding atmosphere.
Warp and waft:
Mainly hand spinned yarn and wool pile, since nomadic Qashqai lifestyle implicates livestock raising, therefore these materials are readily available in large quantities and in high quality, without any additional expenses; however in some rural parts or different cities Qashqai rugs are woven with silk or cotton yarn, due to the fact that wool materials are neither fit, nor handy creating detailed and sophisticated patterns.
Qashqai people use natural sources to dye pile or yarn. Some people use synthetic colours as they are cheaper than the natural ones, although these latter have many advantages despite their elevated prices (clearer, brighter and long-lasting colours, sun and water resistance).
Colours used in rugs:
Old Qashqai rugs weren’t made of using more than eight colours, but in contemporary times it is not rare to see fourteen or more colours. The most important colours in Qashqai rugs, holding the meaning, the spirit and having symbolic importance, are blue colours (both dark and light hues), white and cream, brown and bright red.
The majority of Qashqai people use horizontal looms instead of vertical ones, due to the fact that it can easily be fitted in a tent, their habitat, not requiring too much space and, also, to the practicality and convenience for their so called ‘kooch’ (migration of nomadic lifestyle).