The Meaning and Significance Of Different Colors In Persian Rugs
The luxurious and intricate, Persian rugs capture the detailed history and artistry of some of the world’s most ancient and influential culture. Created in the present day country of Iran and including some of the surrounding regions, each rug weaves a tapestry of character and narration in its motifs. The materials, colors, patterns and designs of Persian rugs all tell a unique story and serve as a testament to the extraordinary history of their origins.
Consider the Persian Senneh Knot: This asymmetrical rug knot allows rug makers to craft intricate works fluidly. Persian rugs are designed to tell a story. Each craftsman has a narrative in mind when they select the colors and motifs for their original rug. In order to truly appreciate these beautiful works and how all of their hues work together, you must first learn about the meaning of each individual color.
Meaning Of Green Color in Persian Rugs
Throughout the world, green is a color rooted in prosperity, balance, health and growth. Green, like the vibrant forests and crisp spring leaves, represents rebirth and new opportunity. In Persian rugs, green is not the most common color, but when it appears, it’s one of the most important features of a design.
According to the Koran, Mohammed’s favorite color was “emerald green“. Partially because of this, not many everyday Persian rugs are not likely to feature such a prestigious and sacred shade. That said, you do see extravagant Persian rugs that feature green colors.
You are likely to find green used more liberally in Persian carpets where the color represents hope and life’s mesmerizing, unconquerable force.
Double dyeing carpet threads with natural blues and greens give weavers the rich greens you find in rugs today. Blue was originally obtained from indigo plants; after ancient craftsmen dyed wool blue, it was dyed yellow using the vibrant natural hues of wild flowers such as Saffron and Larkspur. In some places, vine leaves and buck thorn would also be used. The paint from the Indigo plants and flower extracts came together to produce a majestic green that served as a beautiful honor to the Prophet Mohammed.
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Meaning of Red Color in Persian Rugs
Red is associated with feelings of passion and vitality. Depending on the hue, red can be a soft, warm shade or a vibrant and energizing color. People use red colors to express exciting emotions and grab people’s attention. Red is also the color of blood and fire, two powerful symbols and forces of nature.
Red is often used in Persian rugs to create wonderful designs and a wide array of visual effects. Makers of early rugs used the color red to create emphasis in their designs; the bright color created a powerful impact that spotlighted important areas of a motif.
Red was most frequently crafted from madder root, which was known for its rich red carpet dye. There were many other natural sources of red for craftsmen to choose from including insects and flowers. Snails and beetles, flowers and weeds were used to dye wool from goats and sheep. The end result was a striking Persian red that filled people with joy and courage.
In Asia, red also symbolizes luck. It is customary for many Asian brides to adorn themselves in red when they marry.
Click To View The Above: Large Antique Vase Design Persian Tabriz Rug 49196
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Meaning of Blue Color in Persian Rugs
Blue is a tranquil color designed to bring people a sense of inner peace. In many cultures, blue is also strongly associated with trust and loyalty. After red and beige, blue is one of the most common colors used in Persian rugs, though it’s history isn’t easy to trace.
There aren’t many resources in nature that produce a blue shade, so ancient Persian artisans had to seek out alternative sources. Blue was originally extracted from a woad plant, but the color did not hold well and soon faded. Today, we would call the shade derived from the woad plant pastel.
The discovery of the Indigo plant transformed Persian rug design. Its rich sapphire hue now stands as a symbol of power in rug design while also paying testament to the afterlife. However, it isn’t all bleak. The solitude captured in the essence of indigo blue Persian rugs are often married to hopeful motifs expressing the hope for life after death.
Click To View The Above: Large Oversized Navy Blue Antique Persian Tabriz Rug 49375
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Meaning of Gold and Yellow Colors in Persian Rugs
Yellow and gold are two colors often considered distinct; yellow is typically associated with happiness and energy, while gold is considered the color of opulence and refinement. However, both yellow and gold share the same etymological roots. Both originate from the Indo-European base “gold” which means “yell” or “cry out.” The origin is fitting as both colors demand attention wherever they’re featured.
Persians associate the color yellow with radiance, such as the light from the sun or the joy of living. Yellow colors for Persian rugs were taken from pomegranates, vines, Saffron and a flower called Ox-eye chamomile. Gold was mixed with brown and symbolized wealth, power and prestige in old designs. Due to its esteemed reputation, gold was only featured in Persian rugs designed for royalty or prominent families.
In order to add a sense of luxury to a carpet, golden threads would be woven throughout the design. This practice, which can still be found in many contemporary Persian rugs, creates a subtle yet unmistakable splendor.
Click To View The Above: Large Antique Tabriz Persian Rug 49319
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Meaning of Brown Colors in Persian Rugs
The color of soil, brown in Persian rugs represents the mother planet, Earth, and serves as a sign for fertility. Brown shades in ancient designs were derived from tree bark and walnuts, which where available in great abundance throughout the Orient.
Click To View The Above: Large Tribal Room Size Antique Persian Malayer Rug 48939
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Meaning of Beige and White Colors in Persian Rugs
White is universally accepted as the color of purity and innocence. Persian weavers held this same belief, and white was often mixed with beige to create various designs. The exact shade of white or beige would vary depending on the type of undyed wool used in a particular rug.
White and beige made excellent bases and accents in Persian rugs.
Click To View The Above: Large Oversized Antique Ivory Persian Tabriz Rug 47259
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Meaning of Black Colors in Persian Rugs
Black is a powerful color with an equally powerful meaning. People tend to associate the shade with feelings of darkness. To Persians, black stood for death and destruction. Black can be overwhelming in a design, so it was not used often in original Persian rugs.
Persian weavers rarely used black to create their motifs, but instances of it could be applied to the outline for accent or detailing. Natural black dyes were made from oak tree galls, iron or tannin. The strength of the ingredients translated into the meaning of the color.
Click To View The Above: Antique Persian Kerman Rug 50661
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Meaning of Orange Colors in Persian Rugs
Orange is a humorous color associated with fire and excitement. While Western cultures view orange as a symbol for unconventionality and adventure, the meaning is much more revered in the east. In Asia, orange is often associated with Buddhism and Hinduism.
The spiritual connotation of orange throughout the East makes it the optimal choice for rug craftsmen who wish to express piety and humility as well as faith and devotion. Yellow and red hues were mixed to create varying shades of orange in old designs. The union of these resources to create the stimulating color perfectly exemplifies the sense of wholeness it represents.
Click To View The Above: Antique Persian Khorassan Rug 2040
Persian Rug History Lives On
Today, Persian rugs are still intricately hand crafted and cherished by millions of people around the world. Many families have been keeping the ancient meaning of colors in Persian rugs alive by designing rugs and telling stories through their threads for centuries. While modern innovations make Persian rug making easier, the esteemed history holds a special place in Persians heart as it depicts their people’s passion, reverence and greatest values.