Kerman (also known as Kirman) is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. Located in the Southeast of Persia, it is the capital city of the province by the same name. The city was originally a military outpost during the Sassanid Empire (224 AD - 651 AD) and is cited through Persian history as the capital city under several rulers, dating back to the 3rd century AD.
Throughout history, the city has had strong ties with the Zoroastrian faith. It was a safe haven for followers during the siege of Nahavand (642 AD - 698 AD) and the city now hosts the only Zoroastrian museum in Iran, located in Kerman’s fire temple.
Kerman was long established as a major trade emporium, connecting the Persian Gulf to Khorasan and Central Asia. During the Safavid period the city expanded rapidly due to the exportation of Persian rugs to England and Germany. It has now been a producer of hand knotted rugs for more than 500 years. It is believed, particularly in the western world, that Kerman rugs reached their zenith in the late 18th century. Moreover, many collectors regard Kerman rugs from the late 18th century as some of the finest Persian rugs to have ever been produced.
Typical Kerman Rug Designs
The weavers of Kerman use a number of popular Persian designs- from ornate medallions, to floral designs and the Tree of Life. However the city is not known for any unique regional designs to distinguish their production.
Below are some examples of Kerman Rugs;
Famous Weavers of Kerman Rugs
Like many other city rugs, there are a number of famous weavers from Kerman. Rugs from these weavers are most often superior in quality and design.
Ravar Kerman- Ravar Kerman rugs were woven in the small town of Ravar, 120 miles outside of the city of Kerman and reached the height of their popularity in the 19th century. They have become rare collector pieces in today's market. As with any collectors piece, counterfeits do exist. Moreover, Kerman rugs woven in the same time period are sometimes wrongly referred to as 'Ravar' to fetch larger sums of money. Below is an example of a pair of genuine Ravar Kerman rugs;
Ghasem Kermani- Ghasem Kermani was another prestigious weaver of Kerman rugs between 1880 and 1900. His pieces were highly sought after due to their expressive colour representation and complex designs. See below an example of a rug woven by Ghasem Kermani;
Materials used to Weave Kerman Rugs
Typically, Kerman rugs are woven with a cotton base and a wool pile. This gives the rugs a distinctly soft feel when touched or walked on.
Although Kerman rugs are classified as city (fine) rugs, today most commercial Kerman rugs have a looser, less detailed weave. Antique pieces such as Ravar. Kerman's are however much finer in weave and quality.
Ravar Kerman rugs are the most sought after pieces from the region
They will be around 80 years or slightly older
Beware of incorrectly identified Kerman rugs, and buy from a well respected dealer