Tag Archives: gabbeh

Nomadic Carpets from Iran: Qashqai, Lurs, and Bakhtiari

A jumble of mini-motifs

Whatever interest I have in oriental rugs, whatever knowledge I have gained about them, whatever research and travel I have undertaken to seek them—I owe it all to a Qashqai carpet. My wife bought it in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar (after haggling mercilessly, like a good Indian, with a not-so-wily Turkish salesman) because she liked its unusual patterns and sanguine colours, and brought it home without knowing much else about it.

I eyed it with skepticism at first, as I do all my wife’s profligate purchases, complaining that the colours were too dark and uniform, and that the multitude of small motifs in the medallion were indistinct and messy. But in fact it started to grow on me very quickly, perhaps because of this very oddness, this lack of clean, recognizable figures, this disorderliness that makes it so tribal. I was particularly intrigued by the quirky scarab motifs in the corners, …

Posted in Craft Heritage, Iran | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Arastan at Good Earth in Mumbai: 4-13 March 2013

Kazak Polychromatic Latch Hook Carpet

We’re delighted to be returning to Mumbai to feature the best of artistic traditions from the Silk Route, this time at Good Earth’s flagship store at Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel, for 10 days from from Monday 4 to Wednesday 13 March.

The caravan of treasures includes carpets from across the Caucasian region and from Kurdistan, embroidered glassware from Azerbaijan and a new collection of our popular blue ceramic and silk ikat from Uzbekistan, as well as our one-of-a-kind tribal cushions and ottomans.

Rugs include some much sought after collector’s pieces such as those from Shirvan and Quba in the Caucasus, plus Gabbehs and other tribal Persian carpets, and remarkable new Daizangi kilims from Afghanistan. More Uzbek ceramic includes smaller platters and plates, and we have an entirely new collection of  silk cushions made with authentic fabrics including Uzbek ikat and Moroccan sabra silk.

This coincides with a series of events planned as …

Posted in Events | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Tribal Carpets

"Wild Story" Gabbeh

Tribal carpets are almost the opposite of what one may visualize when they think of a carpet. They are abstract. They are spontaneous. They are naïve. They break rules. And most of all, they are personal expressions of the weavers, straight from the heart! Those from nomadic groups in particular are a fantastic potpourri of many diverse ethnicities, tribal lifestyles and indigenous customs.

There is no defined picture that the weaver is copying from… the picture is in the weaver’s heart, which slowly emerges and takes shape on warps strung around a makeshift loom, wefted and knotted in a colourful collage, one single row at a time! A small six by four foot carpet may have tens of thousands of knots and may take months (and sometimes years) to create. Patience and tenacity are two critical virtues each weaver had to be able to create such fantastic art! The end …

Posted in Craft Heritage | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed
  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

  • Browse all our articles

  • Browse our archives

css.php