Arabesque (Isfahan)

Designing Carpets

Designing Carpets




All actions leading to carpet weaving is called carpet designing. This is done either from a pattern or imagination. They include setting pattern, colors, size, quality and weaving of carpet, margins, quality of raw material, and other carpet specifications.
This file covers mainly patterns and color types.

Designed Patterns
Patterns are designed by carpet designers and given to weavers.

Naghsh Mayeh (Boneh Negar)
A group of miniature images forming the pattern. They have particular meanings. Together with other images of carpets they could have meanings other than their own. Carpets have a collections of images within themselves.

Methods of Designing Carpets

Patterns are drawn by pencil on checkered paper corresponding with the wale. Lines are dotted and colored which distinguishes root colors. In these roots every dot in a square represents a knot and the weaver follows the same pattern of knots and colors.

Designing Steps
1. Pencil work: Drawing the whole pattern on checkered paper.
2. Imaging: Outlines of images drawn in the first step are enforced.
3. Coloring: Images are colored.
4. Dotting: Dotting the images on the checkered paper. Each square of the checkered paper in this method, represents a knot. Great care is needed, otherwise any slight mistake will lead to a faulty pattern.

As dotting is a tedious job, another method called "Dorehgiri" has been invented. In this method instead of representing the knot with a colored dot, it is shown grouped with other uni-colored surrounding knots. This method is not as exact as the dotting method especially in copied patterns due to the consistency of colors.

Number of paper patterns for each carpet depends on:
1. Delicacy of the carpet: More wale requires more paper patterns.
2. Margin type: Unrepeated margins need more paper patterns.
3. Pattern type: Patterns are “full”, “quarter” and “Vaghireh” in size.
4. Size of the carpet.

Pattern of carpets, whether they are symmetrical or not and depending on their size are
divided by different names:
A: Quarter pattern: In patterns where a quarter of the image is repeated, pattern is produced for only that quarter. Margin pattern is provided only for the section which is repeated.
B: Full height pattern:  Prevails mainly in rugs(2*3 sq. m) and represents half of width and full length of rug.
C: Full length pattern: In flower pot and hunting field patterns where the  pattern is not symmetrical the entire pattern is drawn. These prevail mainly for 2*3 sq. m rugs.

Essence of patterns 

1. Toranj or Medallion: It is derived from miniature images drawn by artists. It is a round image; sometimes oval and stands in the center of a carpet. (“Two Kolaleh” or “three Toranj” stand on top or bottom of this image.

2. Lachak or Corner:
A quarter of the medallion image without “Kolaleh” stand on the four corners of the central pattern.

3. Margins:
Formed by frames of different width placed one in another; the center frame forming the main pattern (ground).


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