Originating from the Mahallat region of Persia (Central Iran), Mahal rugs are widely sought after by interior designers and connoisseurs alike thanks to their free yet playful designs, which are complementary with the majority of home interiors.
The county of Mahallat is home to a number of rug weaving cities and towns including; Meshkabad, Mahal, Sarouq and Sultanabad. With a rich history dating back to the Zoroastrian era. The region however, is not only famed for its rug production. There are a number of temple ruins- remnants of the ancient religion, and hellenistic architecture dating back to the time of Alexander the Great's visits to Mahallat.
The region is also home to a collection of fresh water springs (Abegarm-e-Mahallat) that are known for their regenerative powers. The springs fuel large levels of local tourism to the area.
Designs Common to Mahal Rugs
Common designs include the fine curvilinear patterns of city-woven pieces and the more enlarged Shah Abbasi floral designs of town-woven pieces. Mahal rugs may feature an all-over design or a central medallion with corner pieces. Below are some examples of Mahal rugs.
Materials Used in Mahal Rugs
Like many town rugs you will find that Mahal rugs are woven using a cotton base and a wool weft, using materials that would have been local to the people of the town.
Some of the most famous and sought after rugs from the Mahallat region are referred to as Ziegler rugs. Starting in 1883, Ziegler & Co. started using European designers to commission their own rugs- modified to complement the tastes of European consumers and their homes. Ziegler & Co. managed to consistently achieve soft, neutral colours.