The Story of Persian Gorevan Carpets
Antique Persian rugs are known as some of the finest and most desirable in the world of rugs. Many styles of rugs are or have been produced in the region. Knowing each distinct style can help anyone from the serious rug collector to the casual decorator. Gorevan carpets and rugs are a unique style that enjoyed a period of popularity in the early 20th century.
What Are Persian Gorevan Carpets?
Gorevan carpets are a type of Persian rug woven in and around the village of Gorevan. This village was near Heriz (also spelled Heris), a city in what is today called East Azerbaijan in northwest Iran. Although Gorevan is a village, the style is created by many communities in the area, including nomadic groups. The rugs made in Gorevan followed the traditional rug style of the region.
However, they were known for being more coarsely woven and of lower quality than some other Persian Heriz rugs. The rug piles tend to be longer than some other Persian rugs, particularly the other older styles from the Heriz region like the Persian Serapi rugs and Bakshaish carpets. One of the most notable characteristics of Gorevan carpets and rugs is that they had more colors and more patterns. The antique Persian Gorevan carpets tend to have dark colors, although some feature a desirable light blue field.
The History of Antique Persian Gorevan Carpets
Rug weaving in the Northwest Persian region has a long history dating back to before the common era. Some of the finest examples of nomadic Persian rugs came from this area. One of the key characteristics of their designs was the use of more geometric patterns and rectilinear corners and medallions rather than curves. The Heriz area sits on top of a copper deposit that affects the water. In turn, this is believed to provide softer and higher-quality wool from the sheep.
Gorevan rugs initially were very similar to others from the region. They had a center medallion, rectilinear patterns and peculiar, consistent tones that were different from other Persian styles. Gradually, the Gorevan carpets began to develop into a distinctive style. The weavers borrowed ideas from other parts of Iran. The result was bold, multi-colored patterns with square rug medallions.
Almost all Gorevan rugs were made by women weavers, typically at their leisure. At first, they were always hand-made from local wool. Later, as the quality of the major Heriz manufacturers declined, Gorevan picked up as a center for rug-making. This resulted in more rugs being produced in the 20th century, many of which were machine-made.
The “heyday” of Gorevan carpets was between 1900 and the early 1920’s. During this time, they were very popular due to their unique colors, especially the brilliant blues. However, after WWI, other styles with more conventional medallions picked up popularity and the traditional Gorevan carpet-making declined.
Modern Versus Traditional Gorevan Carpets
Like many other styles of rugs and carpets, the traditional pieces are considered the most desirable. This isn’t just due to age and rarity. Most modern Gorevan carpets are machine-spun and made from cotton. Some still use wool, but most are synthetically dyed. These materials and processes are not only less desirable but also of lower quality and make for less durable rugs.
The traditional carpets are hand-woven and made from local wool dyed in small batches with natural carpet dyes. They are a higher quality product with superior quality. Traditional Gorevan rugs also had a distinctive style featuring a medallion in the center.
How Gorevan Carpets Differ From Other Persian Rugs
Differentiating Persian rugs isn’t easy for the casual observer. The region has a strong tradition of rug-making as well as traveling nomadic peoples. While some of the most impressive and important cities of antiquity existed in the region, many other areas were in a constantly shifting state of affairs, leading to rug-making styles blending and influencing each other significantly.
The Heriz region is best known for making larger rugs for export due to its proximity to non-Persian regions. These rugs have typically been semi-geometric and brightly colored. Gorevan rugs followed in this style, particularly developing the squarish medallion shape. They are usually consistent in size, with almost all rugs from the village being 9 feet by 12 feet.
Other rugs in the region tend to be crisper with shorter piles. The coarse-woven Gorevan rugs, although durable, tend to lie down significantly. They have a much shaggier feel than many other Persian rugs.
Explore All the Persian Rugs at Nazmiyal
A beautiful rug can be a valuable part of your interior decoration or an investment piece to add to your collection. At Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC, we have an extensive collection of antique Persian rugs. We invite you to explore our selection and find the ideal rug for you. For help navigating the many different styles of rugs, feel free to connect with our experts. If antiques aren’t your style, we also have many vintage rugs and modern rugs. Find the perfect rug for your needs today.