Learn More About Antique Persian Doroksh Carpets
The antique Persian Doroksh rugs – Revival of the Region’s Revered Carpet Making Tradition
The peace that got established in Iran in the 19th century set up a cultural revival that later encompassed all the area’s traditional art mediums. Renewed interest in the market, combined with increasing resources, allowed forms that ranged from portraiture to architecture to rug making to calligraphy to thrive in this time period. This period was truly a renaissance: after a few centuries of warmongering and whole populations migrating to other areas, artists began to rise to an exalted space in Iranian culture. They definitely created a new generation of art. They also drew inspiration from ancient models.
Then northeastern Persian rug weavers produced what is known as the Doroksh carpet. The carpet is named after the Doroksh hills in the Khorassan province. These antique rugs stood in for a revival of the area’s ancient rug making tradition. The antique Persian rug weavers drew on traditional and classic rug design to create high-end, high quality 19th century versions of their 16th century models. The artisans always intended for the Doroksh rugs to get sold in some of the region’s great cultural capitals. These rugs were made from high-quality materials like wool (and cotton, at a later date) with traditional rug patterns that had intricate patterns.
Doroksh rugs are most known for their close hand weaving. The weavers of Doroksh 19th century rugs used the asymmetric or Persian rug knot to get a high knot density. They then created the intricately detailed patterns for which these rugs have gained recognition. These patterns are usually made up of a medallion in the center, placed on a plain red or cream field, which is then surrounded by repeating borders. The borders came from the Khorasan tradition. For example, the arborescent and the paisley boteh (a motif in the shape of a droplet). While these area rugs closely adhere to tradition, antique Persian Khorasan rugs still are extremely diverse. Many antique carpets have whimsical animal designs accents like birds, for example.
The Doroksh rug brought in an era of textile making in a region well known for woven art. Khorasan, which roughly translates to “where the sun arrives”, was a cultural capital in the Persian Empire. The Persian Empire housed many early writers, poets, artists, craftsmen, and scientists. Rug making in this area stretches far back into the 8th century. Persian Doroksh rugs draw more inspiration from Khorosan’s later masterpieces of the Persian Empire – elegant, palatial oversized rugs that are among the most coveted in the world – as a model. Doroksh rugs can get traced all the way back to the 16th century. This was a period where rug-weaving went from a nomadic craft into a specialized artisan industry.
Then the Doroksh carpets sold extremely well in the marketplace. By the time the end of World War I came, northeastern Iran became known for making somewhat affordable, high-quality, hand made carpets. The artisans in this hilly region still make Doroksh rugs by hand. The repeating patterns and detailed motifs of the rugs have endeared them to interior designers all over the world. Experts even refer to the decorative rugs from this region as the “decorator’s carpet”. This is due to the fact that their rug sizes and subtle coloring make them great visual centerpieces in modern living spaces and home decors.