Collection of Persian Antique Heriz Rugs by Nazmiyal
Heriz Rugs - The village of Heriz is located just west of Tabriz in the Persian occupied part of Azerbaijan. Heriz carpets are mostly distinguished by their rectilinear designs, a departure from the traditional arabesques and scrolls typical of Persian manufactory. A large central stepped medallion with corners or an all over design of highly stylized floral motifs is quite typical. Repeating patterns are less common. The pile is thick and heavy and the color palette is rich and varied. Older Heriz rugs had madder grounds and medallions mostly of indigo. The finer rugs use the technique "double outlining", where the design of the rug is separated from the field by two lines in different colors. This design element sets the gold standard for the best Heriz designs.
Originating in Northwest Persia and the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, antique Heriz rugs from Persia include regional patterns created in several dozen towns and villages in the area. These Azeri-Turkish groups from the Caucasus were pushed south by invading Russian and Soviet forces, and the area was subject to turbulent political influences that continued through the 20th century. Turkic nomads have produced fine carpets for export and resale since the 1700's, and antique Heriz rugs continue to enjoy great popularity in Europe and the U.S. The Heriz moniker is applied to regional rugs originating in Ahar, Gorevan and several other prominent villages. This has lead to some confusion about these trade terms.
The city of Heriz is located roughly 60 miles from the legendary carpet-producing city of Tabriz. Although they are closely related in some respects, their styles remain distinct. Antique Heriz rugs are known for their thick, strong and durable structure. Unlike many areas of Persia, rugs from Heriz are made with the symmetric Turkish or Ghiordes knot, which is attached to a specially woven foundation that includes a thick cotton warp and weft. The structure is only one factor that contributes to the durability and stability of antique rugs from Heriz, which differ from their cousins, the Serapi Rugs and the Bakshaish rugs. Further, some carpets from this region are referred to as Heriz Serapi rugs. Tucked into the foothills surrounding the historically active volcano Mount Sabalan, Heriz sits on top of rich mineral reserves and some of the largest copper deposits in the world. Pastoral nomads known as the Shahsavan migrated across the area moving closer to Mount Sabalan in the summer and further away during the harsh winters. The result is extremely durable wool containing trace amounts of copper that act as a natural mordant and dye fixative.
Since the early 19th century, Heriz has been producing European-sized carpets that define the angular style of northwest Persian rugs. These classically colored carpets, including Serapi Heriz rugs, often feature a traditional pairing of crimson red and clear Persian blue, which are combined with varied neutrals. Heriz rugs often feature dense allover patterns and angular octofoil medallions surrounded by rectilinear vinescrolls decorated with a rich variety of contrasting colors.