and architectural design
Achamenian Dynasty to Safavid era, beautiful tile-works, balcony
plaster moldings and images for walls and ceilings have always
inspired painters and carpet designers.
2.Palmette Flower (Shah
statement is generally used for designs and images related to Safavid
and compound multi-petal flowers, twisting curves, Arabesque designs
and images resembling Chinese clouds. Different
kinds of Shah Abbasi designs are:
Corner-Medallion, Tree, Animal, Sheykh Safi, Series of Turreted,
Omitted (Shah Abbasi design with some changes), Turreted Paisley
Medallion and Plain-weave Corner-Medallion design.
All-Over Palmette Flower design
ground of this kind of carpet is fully covered by overlapping leaves,
arabesque and Chinese flowers and curves and arch lines. In some
designs we can see animals among leaves and branches. All these are
surrounded by narrow or wide margins. Margins include roses, palm
leaves or some geometrical images.
All-Over flower design lacks the central Medallion and four-corners of
the ground. Despite the repeated All-Over flower design, the lower row
designs are not repeated in upper rows and they just become symmetry
form the midline of carpet.
Corner-Medallion (Shah Abbasi) design
used to decorate the leather book covers, before being used by carpet
weavers. In this design, the central medallion, either circular or
diamond shaped, is surrounded by four similar shapes named
“Corner” (Lachak) in four corners of carpet. In many cases,
corners are derived from medallion shapes.
includes Palmette, abstract leaves and other images. A background
produced within the space between corners and central medallion, is elliptical
and ends to the margins. Designs without corners are named
“Shah Abbasi medallion” design.
Shah Abbasi “Animal” design
carpets are commonly woven in Kerman and Qom. These designs are a
variety of Artists tastes in combining the traditional images and
animals. The carpet design is full of “Shah Abbasi” and
“Chinese” flowers surrounded by corners and margins containing
animals. In this design, stags, wolves, lions and gazelles are hopping
in harmony with twisting branches.
Shah Abbasi “Turreted” design
turreted all around the ground, is the characteristic of this design.
Thus, corners are not a quarter of medallion, but go round the whole
Shah Abbasi “Sheykh Safi” design
design is an inspiration of Sheykh Safiedine Ardebili’s Tomb.
Central Medallion, is surrounded by many flowers (called melon-shape
flowers are also used for corners (that each one has the size of a
quarter of central medallion). Margin designs are a combination of
Sheykh Safi carpet’s panels and inscriptive, that are arranged
alternately. Flowers are among these patterns. Two lantern shapes are
used instead of two ends of medallion.
Omitted Palmette Flower design (Shah Abbasi Tasarrofi)
main factors are the same as Shah Abbasi images; but some changes made
such as omitting corners and using half-medallions in ground of the
origin of Arabesque designs is related to Sasanian dynasty. Some
believe this name is derived from word “Eslami”, which could be
possible relevant remaining from the beginning of Islam.
believe that Arabesque images have special meanings, while some others
believe that Arabesque images were just decorative, and seeking for
any symbolic purpose is useless. Another group consider it, as an
altered shape of branches, vine leaves and trembling ivies.
cases, it is considered, these images derived from snake crawls and
Chinese clouds. Even related it to dragons, waves, so they call it
main idea of this pattern contains flowers, plants, branches and
leaves, which all together reveal Iranian flower gardens. This pattern
has no the medallion and those with corners include smaller ones, than
flower designs, considering animal, flower and plant shapes are
classified as follows:
All-Over Flower, Chinese, Panel, broken, Pomegranate flower, twisted
branch, Bouquet with animals, Medallion and Minakhani.
original patterns have been found in Kurdistan, Bijar and Savejbolagh
and probably it originates from Kurdistan. Despite its being simple,
any single weaving mistake will be apparent easily. This design is
commonly used in Hamadan, Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari, Haris, Ghaen and
other regions in Iran. It is also one of the common and formally used
designs in Varamin.
Panel All-Over Flower (Repeated)
pattern, Arabesque, Chinese, flowers , … are repeated in horizontal
Qashqai All-Over flowers
plants, Arabesque branches, Semi-geometrical arrangements and dyeing,
make this design distinguished form the others. Most of the Samples of
this design are in form of “Nazim” flowers that is called “Gol
are the patterns, which have been brought to Iran from other
countries, and used with some changes such as: Afghan, Anatolia
(Turkey), Caucasus, Tapestry (France) and… derivative patterns.
designs are derived from traditional Caucasian images. These are among
the imaginary tribe designs, which are woven by horizontal looms
mostly in North Eastern part of Iran and in Turkmen Sahra. Parallelograms,
lozenges, squares, polygons are the main constituents of these
designs, which are the main constituents of these designs, cross
shapes, snail and zigzag lines. These are in form of abstract,
geometrical and symmetrical.
the patterns called “Gol Farang”, which are used in medallions and
corners, make a design like the French Tapestry (Goblin).
a design means repeating the same images all over the pattern.
Different categories of designs are as follows:
Tendril, Broken, Inscriptive, Mostowfi, Multi-panel, Cedar, Bakhtiari,
Feast, Bandarijani (Corner-Medallion), cluster of grapes, stag horn
panel, Animal, Shiraz Inlaid and Bouquet.
It is a
common design in Kerman including various Shah Abbasi flowers with
different colors, which repeat in a symmetrical style, while multiple
Arabesque patterns surround them. Flowers are connected to each other
by these Arabesque patterns.
one of the designs, known as “Multi-Panel” design. The main image
is repeated inscriptive and panel shapes. Inscriptive and panels
include altered decorative images. Mostly, there are repeated
decorative images between the inscriptive and panels. Margins are
also in harmony with the ground design.
Multiple Lozenge (Multi-Panel) (Kheshti)
design is more common in Southern tribes of Iran, and is a combination
of connected lozenges, that each of them includes birds, flowers,
leaves and geometrical images. These designs are alternately and
intermittently spread over all the ground,
and smaller similar images are placed in margins.
the repetition of “Kheshti” images over all the ground
Armlet (Bazubandi) image
images are derived from the shape of frames, armlets and belts, which
were gained by victorious champions. The armlet image is made of
diamond shape designs, which contain similar geometrical forms.
images are mostly plain and fine lozenges with broken lines, which
most probably are the continuation of cloth designs origined from
Achamenian era. These carpets are woven on the horizontal looms.
Armlet image is also known as “Shir-o-Shekari” (Milk and sugar
Stag Horn Panel with animal
image is mainly based on twists and curves of a stag horn. So that
designed flowers, leaves and buds, are limited by a twisted stag horn
shape. Thus flowers are intermittently and symmetrically arranged.
small animals, like gazelle, deer and stag are seen, by the flowers.
Panel Bouquet image
carpets are a combination of a series of palm leaves, Shah Abbasi
flowers and abstract bouquets. One kind of Panel Bouquet images,
includes a central medallion and four corners, at each corner of the
carpet, and is called “Bouquet – Medallion”.
Medallion – water pool image
design, which is one of the most ancient carpet designs, is also
called “Frame” or and
“Multi – Panel”. Pazirik carpet is the oldest sample of this
class. This design belongs to the tribes of Fars. Ground includes many
multi-sided Medallions that are intermittently- with or without an
intermediate-arranged next to each other. Medallion is filled by
common patterns and images of region.
one of the oldest carpet’s images. There are different theories,
that what kind of image or abstract plant does this symbol refers to.
It is a simile of hen, flower leaf, tree, fire flame, and is very
similar to cedar that has an important role in miniature and Persian
Literature. Paisley images have different names, such as: Stag horn
paisley, Aigrette, Cashmere, Sarsabzi, Robe, Isfahan engraver,
Kurdistanian, Borken Mir, Senneh Corner-Medallion, Afshari and Armlet.
main image is the famous “Boteh-Jegheh”. Central Medallion is
formed by one or more concentric medallions, that, also are decorated
by tiny flowers, different olive leaves, half panels and Aigrette
(Boteh-Jegheh). Non of the margins have any clear borders and there is
no separating line between corners and margins. Corners spread all
over the margins in the form of turreted.
Botteh Miri (Sarband)
this is design of a pine tree, which its roots could be found in
Sarband, one of the counties of Arak.
Octagon (Kurdistan Paisley)
name is derived from the octagon paisley shapes, which are seen
intermittently all over the ground. The empty space produced by
octagon paisley shapes- symmetrically created in ground- is actually
another modified eight-pointed star, which includes geometrical
and trees have always been a holly character in Iranian culture.
Iranian weavers have attentively designed plant and tree images from
ancient time. Usage of this design has originated from a village
called “Ravar” near Kerman.
with tree design, are fully covered by leaves, flowers, cedar trees,
animals and ponds. Arrangement of these elements, are either
symmetrical and connected to each other, or unsymmetrical. Different
tree designs are: Animal, Floral or Waterfront, Medallion, Cedar Tree,
Vase, Overall and Corner-Medallion designs.
design with Animal
design, reminisces a thicket where domestic and wild animals are
playing, jumping and resting. Wide margin, mostly include ground
images in a smaller size, but slightly changed. Despite the other
carpet designs, this one is not symmetrical at all, but a balance is
observed in the combination of images.
Tree Floral design
design is full of natural flowers especially sweetbrier and leaves,
which are woven either with or without margin. Margins are woven
relatively wide and are known as “Self-Margin”, “Broken
Margin” or “Court Margin”. In a
kind of Floral design, which is known as “Water-Front”, the
central Medallion is made of a Water-Front full of a variety of
is one of the distinguished characteristics of Turkmen carpets, which
is an additional weaving at two ends of the carpet. This
design includes different samples, such as: “Ghab Yamut Shanei”,
“Gozakhal gazelle”, Four Frame (Chahar ghab), “Silique”
(khorjini) and spoon.
is adorned by inscriptive and lozenge or spindle shape panels, which
are sometimes connected to each others by interesting lines. Lozenges
often include broken and geometrical images. Ground is mostly
camel-colored or dark blue and main colors are red, white and black.
Black lines create the design and white balances the red color of main
B- Spoon design (Yamut)
name is derived from its similarity to Turkmen inlaid spoon handles.
Spindle shape images, which are separated from each other with wide
stripes, could be seen all over the ground. Red, black and white
colors are mostly used.
of this design is a combination of battle between animals like
gazelles, deers, wolves, lions and also birds hidden among the trees
and flowers, with curved Arabesque lines and Chinese flowers. These
images have originated from the gorgeous hunting designs of Safavid
era. Hunting patterns are classified as: Paneled tree with Medallion,
Corner-Medallion and Overall.
In this design,
ground is divided in to multi-sided panels and inscriptive in an
order. So that, each one has its own character, which could be similar
to or different from the other panels. These images are classified in
to Corner-Medallion, Overall, Arabesque and Kerman (Gab Qur’an)
according to their usage and positions in the ground.
main factors in this design are variously colored multi-petaled
flowers and western vases.
Corner-Medallion Gol Farang
design, the central medallion is surrounded by roses and Gol Farang
vases. Corner’s image and color differs from the main design and
ground. So that this distinction has produced an elliptical space
containing Central Medallion. Wide margins reflect the main
Iran, Secretaries, Accountants and Supervisors, were titled as
“Mostowfi”. These designs are mostly common in Arak. Twisted
branches Golforang and buds are the dominant design of Mostowfi
carpets and regarding these Gol Farang flowers (Western flowers), also
called “Gol Farang-e-Mostowfi”.
the main image of this design. One or two vases are woven at the two
sides of the carpet. Other elements are used in such a way that the
vase could be placed among them.
classes are, Chinese vase image “Zel-i-Sultan” (flower and
nightingale), Hajj Khanomi (Joshaghan), Overall, Pray-niche, Two
sides, Repeated, Corner-medallion, one-sided and two-sided.
are spread all over the ground. This design is repeated in wider
margin, either exactly the same or with a little change.
these images, colors are falling down the carpet in parallel and
vertical lines. Stripped
design is classified into Two –colors and Multi-colors (wide and
narrow) classes. In two-color class, one of the colors is always
white, and the other one is black, dark blue or jasper-green.
Multi-color stripped design is divided into wide and narrow. Different
classes of these design are Overall
ink pot, Tiny flower with monochromatic ground, Paisley with
multi-color ground and Zigzag.
In and Out Fish design
first samples of this design were found in Heart, thus, it is also
called “Herati” design.
presents a little fish in the form of little leaves. Some other types
of fish designs are, “Senneh In and out Fish”, “Tiny
Fish”, “Sturgeon”, “Farahan Fish” (Zanburi) and “Herati
name refers to very tiny In and Out Fishes design. These designs are
not necessarily made of tiny fish images. In most of the cases very
tiny flowers, which are called “Golcheh” or “Parehsib”,
represent four sides of the lozenges that mostly include an eight –
leaved flower. These lozenges are the main images that are spread one
within the other all over the ground, corners and medallions.
16 – Prayer-Niche (Mihrab)
is a place in Mosque, where “Imam Jama’at” (the head of Muslim
prayers) prays, there. Regarding the holiness of Mihrab, this place
is usually distinguished from the other spaces by embellishments, such
as tile-works or arch. These images are called “Mihrab” in carpet
designing. It is noticeable that, because of the holiness of these
images, Hunting and Feast designs are not used in them; but trees and
flowers representing heaven could be seen in these carpets. This
design is classified in accordance with the decorative elements used
in Mihrab design ground, such as columns, the hung lantern from the
arch, trees and vases.
Thus, the classification is: Columned
Mihrab, Tree (Anatolia), Vase and Scenery designs.
– Geometrical Patterns
distinctive characteristics of this designs are the geometrical
images, abstract flowers, an orderly and intermittently repetition of
groups of 9 to 16 flowers, simple and decorative squares, triangles,
lozenges, latticed ellipses and octagons with outstanding colors
through the openings. Geometrical design is divided into
“Joshaghani”, “Frame Panels”, “Stripped”,
“Corner-Medallion” (Broken branch), “Shiraz Inlaid”,
“Plain-weave” and “Chinese”.
– Tribal Patterns
patterns are imaginary images of flowers, plants and production tools,
that were first woven as Kilim and Jajim by Tribal women, but later
on, carpet designers collected and saved these imaginary designs from
patterns are named according to their weaving regions:
“Heybatloo”, “Qashqai”, “Afshari”, “Botteh”,
“Ardebili”, “Sang Choobi” (wood-stone), “Zanjani”,
“Bakhtiari”, “Lori”, “Kurd”, “Mazlaghani”,
images have no special patterns and are only a combination of
different carpet designs. Some of them are:
branch with Medallion”, “Overall with Medallion”, “Vase
Corner-Medallion”, “Arabesque Panel”, “Multi-panel”,
“Scenery”, “Bouquet Medallion”, “Floral Medallion”,
“Plain-weaves Medallion”, “Plain-weave Corner- Medallion”, …
pattern, each panel has it’s own design. Some of multi-panel designs
are a collection of images from different regions.
Composite Bouquet Corner-Medallion
these patterns, corners and central medallion are full of
multi-colored flowers and some twisted branches often full of buds,
have surrounded the central medallion. Margins include Arabesque with
main images are distinctive perspectives of buildings and palaces in
the middle of medallion. The most famous this type, is “Sarough”