The Gabbeh comes from no particular city, or tribe. The word itself means rough, natural or uncut, and many tribes weave these simple rugs across a wide area of the southwestern part of Iran. Until recently they were almost unknown, even in Iran.
Woven on simple, demountable floor looms, these native rugs exemplify the nomadic lifestyles of their weavers. They are generally thicker than the average Persian rug, as they are made for personal warmth and comfort.
Frequently in beiges, browns, greys or black, the colors of the un-dyed sheep's wool, Gabbeh rugs can also feature splashes of vivid color that bring them perfectly in line with even the most modern interior. These dyes are taken from plants, fruit and roots found in the Zagros Mountains, the home territory of these nomads.
Patterns in Gabbeh rugs are usually geometric and asymmetric, and tell a simple story with the use of human or animal figures.
Simple squares or stripes are also used, or basic versions of the hooked medallion so often found in rugs made by the Qashg'ai people. Sometimes attempts are made to convey a strongly-felt emotion through the use of color and abstract form.
Recent research has discovered a few examples of Gabbeh rugs dating from the early nineteenth century. With the complete absence of Western influence, or even from the rest of Persia, it is abundantly clear that these unique designs owe their modern appearance to the good taste and classic feelings of their ancient designers and weavers.