History Of The Extravagantly Beautiful and Sacred Carpet of Wonder at The Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque
What is the carpet of wonder?
The “Carpet of Wonder” is an iconic area rug that was custom ordered and woven specifically for the Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque prayer hall in Muscat, Oman. It is a massively oversize rug that measures 60.90m (approx. 200 feet) by 70.50m (approx. 232 feet). The actual size of the carpet of wonder ended up being roughly 4,343 square meters (roughly 14,248 square feet).
Until 2007, it held the title of the biggest carpet ever woven, when an even more massive rug was created – The Largest Rug In The World In Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Mosque Abu Dhabi – which is now officially the largest handmade rug in the world.
The Breathtaking Second Largest Chandelier In The World At The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Hanging above the Carpet of Wonder, the second largest rug in the world, within the prayer hall of the Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque, resides the second largest chandelier in the world. It illuminates every inch of the patterned carpet of wonder below.
How Many Knots and KPSI Does The Carpet of Wonder have?
Weaving fine rugs takes longer than weaving course rugs. And, weaving big rugs takes longer than weaving small rugs. While the carpet of wonder is massive, it is also quite fine and has a knot count of approx. 211 kpsi. Sprawling across 4,343 square meters, this carpet is held together by an estimated total of approx. 1.7 billion rug knots.
How Long Did It Take To Weave The Carpet of Wonder?
It took around four years to weave the carpet of wonder by hand.
Who Wove The The Carpet of Wonder?
The Iran Carpet Company (ICC) was the company that was responsible for taking the order and creating the rug. The actual task of knotting the rug by hand was under taken by literally hundreds of skilled artisans and Persian rug weavers who worked tirelessly to weave this spectacular Persian rug.
The Legacy Of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s Carpet
When His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, commissioned the creation of a floor covering that would sprawl across the expanse of the main prayer sanctuary at a Mosque in the wilayat of Bausher, Muscat, it wasn’t his first experience. He had commissioned a different carpet upon taking the throne as Sultanate of Oman in 1970.
That carpet was simply a precursor for what would become the rug covering the (then) world’s largest Mosque in Muscat. A leader who is willing to underwrite the legacies he commissioned during his time on the throne, bin Said dealt directly with the manufacturer and considers The Carpet of Wonder to be one of his legacies.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said Focuses On The Beauty
The size of the carpet of wonder was not the only priority of Sultan Qaboos bin Said. He wanted a carpet that would be an artistic marvel. He wanted a carpet that would have no equal and was willing to give the project a wide berth in terms of time to achieve this goal. That was a much-appreciated factor for the Persian rug weavers, many of whom undertook no other projects while they were working on weaving the carpet of wonder.
What does it take to weave something this unique?
Where was the carpet of wonder woven?
Produce the carpet of wonder required a lot of planning and logistics. A property in Nishabour, in Iran’s Khorasan province, was secured to serve as the rug’s production site and weaving facility.
Mirroring The Mosque Design In The Carpet Of Wonder
The first task the production team had to accomplish was to create a flat carpet pattern that emulated the curved surface of the dome. The idea was that when the worshippers’ eyes looked up at the patterned mosaic on the ceiling of the Mosque, they would find a mirror image of the pattern when they looked down at the carpet during services.
Creating the dome design of the carpet
The Persian Gonbad rug design of the Carpet of Wonder is centered on a sacred round medallion “birthing” radiating lobes. This was no easy fete since every lobe was required to be the same size depending upon its position to the medallion. An optical illusion added character and depth: Lobe size increased as the design moved further away from the center.
The central medallion itself, is actually inspired by the iconic dome that we see in the 17th century Persian Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan.
The ICC Persian Rug Weaving Firm focuses on weaving a one-of-a-kind masterpiece
While the ICC rug weaving firm, contracted to produce this unique carpet, provided a work staff that may or may not have an equal. Roughly 500 to 600 rug weavers (the number varies depending upon the resource cited), worked in two shifts to move the progress of this masterpiece rug along at a steady pace. The ICC was intent upon making sure that when the carpet was finally complete, it would have no equal and would be a true one-of-a-kind rug, protected from ever being copied.
How many man hours went into weaving the carpet of wonder?
The weavers who put their hearts and souls into helping create this iconic carpet were equally invested at their carpet weaving looms. This was a once-in-a-lifetime commission, and each weaver became part of the history of this Oriental rug. In total, it’s estimated that it took around 12 million man hours to produce this 22-ton carpet.
Was The Carpet Of Wonder Woven In Sections Or As One Piece?
Numbers of visitors to the Mosque insist that this woven wonder is a compendium of carpet sections sewn together rather than a single work of art. But, in fact, that’s an illusion. As with all hand made carpet creations, the last process undertaken is shearing the entire wool surface of the rug to create uniformity on the surface. This process leaves subtle raised lines that guide worshippers into forming rows during prayer services.
Where did the name “Carpet of Wonder” come from?
I could not find the actual source of the of the name “Carpet of Wonder”. But that said, given the enormity of the project, could this carpet really be called anything other than – “The Carpet of Wonder“?
Sparked by the sheer size of the Carpet of Wonder – here are some of our recently acquired oversized rugs:
This rug blog post about The Carpet of Wonder in Muscat Oman – The Second Largest rug In The World, was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC.