History of Hamadan Rugs

Hamadan rugs are carpets made in the foothills of Alvand Mountain, a peak in north central Iran that rises 1,850 meters above sea level. These carpets are known for their durability because the sheep from whose wool these carpets are woven have unusually thick fleece to keep them warm at high altitudes.

Where Do Hamadan Rugs Come From?

Three hundred kilometers west of Teheran lies the city of Hamadan, a metropolis so ancient that it’s mentioned both in the histories of Herodotus as well as in the Old Testament under its one-time name Ekbatana. The towns and villages surrounding Hamadan are famous for handicrafts that include ceramics, leather and Persian rugs.

Hamadan rugs are distinguished by their distinctive color palettes, which are dominated by indigo blue and bright red hexagonal or diamond-shaped design elements on ivory, red, blue or brown backgrounds. Design elements include geometric figures, floral designs, jagged lines and hooks. High end Hamadan carpets are manufactured from handspun yarns that have been tinted with natural dyes.

Older Hamadan rugs may frequently contain camel hair as well as sheep and goat wool. Silk is almost never seen in this type of Persian carpet although occasionally cotton threads may be incorporated into the rugs’ foundations.

What Is the Historical Feature of the Region?

Hamadan lies at the foot of a mountain pass that was part of the fabled Silk Road in ancient times. The city’s strategic location made it an attractive target for foreign invasions.

In the 11th century, Hamadan briefly became the capital of the Seljuq Empire. Though the city was all but destroyed three centuries later by the Mongol conqueror Timur, by the 17th century, it had risen again. During World War I, Hamadan was the scene of fierce battles between Russian forces and their Turkish and German enemies.

Are There Different Styles of Hamadan Rugs?

There are approximately 1,500 villages outside of Hamadan, each of which has its own characteristic style of carpet-weaving. Many villages specialize in producing two or more styles. Experts at the industry magazine “Rug News” estimate that there may be as many as 3,000 distinct Hamadan designs. Some of the best known designs are:

• Bibikabad: Bibikabad carpets are distinguished by the relative thickness of their wool, which makes these rugs more durable than other Hamadans. Their most common design element is a motif called the Herati, which incorporates floral forms within a diamond.
• Ingelas: Ingelas is a village to the southeast of Hamadan that was originally settled by Turkish immigrants to the area. Ingelas rugs use cotton warp and weft threads.
• Borchelus: Borchelus carpets come from the villages on the eastern side of Hamadan. Typically, they feature a central medallion on an ivory background. This medallion is often repeated on the four corners of the carpet.
• Dergazine
• Kabutarhang
• Husianabad

Are Hamadan Rugs Still Being Made in the Traditional Way in the Region?

Even today, many Hamadan rugs continue to be woven in the traditional manner by hand, although cotton is more often used for the warp and weft threads than it was several centuries ago. The carpets are still colored in the traditional manner with vegetable dyes.

Hamadan rugs are a good investment because of their durability and striking design. With proper care, your Hamadan rug will provide you with enjoyment for many years to come.


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