A great city in the north-west of Iran, known for its commerce and its craft. Tabriz has at times served as the nation's capital, and dates back many centuries before Christ. Located on a temperate plain, it is somewhat of a summer resort for many Iranians, with an old saying of, 'Six months of Winter and the rest are a nuisance.'
Tabriz is the capital of the eastern province of the Azerbaijan region, ideally placed for its access to Europe and the West. A great site for cultural institutes, it has a reputation for automobile and industrial activities, and also for the most prolific range of styles in hand-woven Persian rugs. They average medium to large sizes, with beautiful runners, all of great quality and durability. Perhaps the most beautiful are those produced in Kirk wool and silk. It is said that this wool, from the underbelly of young sheep, is almost as expensive as silk. There are hundreds of very elegant floral patterns, some privately owned by wealthy families, mostly in shades of pink, red and purple on a white background, with highlights of gold and silver silk.
Then there's the noble Mahi pattern, 'the Decorators Carpet', most popular with interior designers and decorators looking for a fairly neutral background for traditional or modern furnishings. These come in shades of greys, reds, blues, beiges and, very rarely, in greens, a quiet and elegant touch to any room. Then there are the centre medallions with borders, and the overall fields of huge Shah Abbas flowers. Green is the rarest colour in Persian rugs, as it is the 'holy colour', and for centuries could not be walked upon. It is usually found only in vines and leaves, and then not always. Western designers were greatly responsible for a few green carpets to match with their decor, but were encouraged to have them shipped away as expeditiously as possible. In fact, designers have the most success in getting any pattern or picture made into a rug in the city of Tabriz. than elsewhere in Iran