'Bidjar! Bidjar! the carpet of steel!'
The ancient town of Bidjar that gave this carpet its name is inhabited mostly by Kurds, a warm, tough people in the north-west of Iran. The carpet they produce has the reputation of being one of the toughest Persian carpets, as the wool is kept wet while it is being woven. Every few rows of warp a comb-like instrument is inserted by the weaver, and hammered down. The resulting carpet will dry and harden into an extremely tough, solid base.
It is rare to find flowery details in a Bidjar, as weavers tend to stick to the Herati pattern, with large octagonal geometric medallions in the centre. If the weaver previously worked in another city where flowery motifs were prevalent, he might try to insert that into his design. The few flowery Bidjars that exist tend to be very beautiful, and demand higher prices for being so rare. Colours reflect the simple character of the people : blues, reds and browns of varying shades, with some (undyed) ivory. Green is rarely seen in most Persian carpets, except for occasional leaves, as this is the 'Holy Colour'. For many centuries green was not permitted to be walked upon, and paradise is described as a place where people "will wear green garments of fine silk." The story goes that when designers from the West started asking for green rugs, they were woven for them on the strict understanding that they be immediately be taken to their ship and exported to their home countries.
Another Bidjar idiosyncrasy: whereas the mitering of the border pattern is one of the signs of a carpet of quality, you will hardly ever find that detail in the best Bidjar!
The texture of a typical Bidjar is quite rough, very long-lasting, and impossible to fold in the usual manner. These carpets are usually introduced by auctioneers as the 'carpet of steel', and are frequently rolled for carrying. One would not want a more suitable carpet for a high-traffic area in today's home, such as entrances, family rooms and kitchens.