History of Heriz Serapi Rugs From Persia
Heriz Serapi Rugs – The tradition of Persian rug weaving dates back more than 1,000 years. According to written records, the King of Persia commissioned an unprecedented carpet decorated with crystals, gemstones, and precious metals in the 6th Century.
However, the tradition of Heriz and Serapi rugs is relatively recent. Heriz rugs were produced during 19th Century primarily as exports to Europe and Britain. Historically, it was common for traders of antique rugs to market carpets produced in neighboring villages, responsible for Bakshaish rugs, as Herizes.
However, not all villages were able to match the quality of the native Heriz weavers, creating distinct styles of antique rugs. Although the cities of Heriz and Sarab are both located in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, which is also home to the city of Tabriz, Heriz and Heriz Serapi rugs are totally unlike those produced in Tabriz.
Where designs from Tabriz used flowing curvilinear figures with ornate decorations, carpet weavers in Heriz used bold geometric and tribal motifs with angular lines that bear little resemblance to the flowers and objects they represent.
Carpet trade and production were thriving industries in the 19th Century. European and foreign firms like Ziegler & Company made extensive investments in the Persian carpet industry to gain control over all aspects of rug production from the resources and raw materials to the weaving process. Management firms held land, controlled grazing rights, and contracted workers to manage herds, operate dyeworks, and weave carpets.
In 19th Century Heriz, villagers adapted their own designs from traditional patterns influenced by Tabriz, Genghis Khan, the Safavid dynasty, and Shah Abbas the Great centuries before. Designs for carpets, which could be more than 10 feet long, were traditionally planned on handkerchief-sized swatches showing one quarter of a symmetrical carpet design.
Under the control of foreign management firms, Heriz carpets from the late 19th Century became standardized, and carpet designs were increasingly prepared using graph paper cartoons, carpet samplers, and patterns that reduced intuitive weaving techniques and off-the-cuff creativity.
Because most Heriz and Serapi carpets were produced by foreigners for a foreign market, the size of Heriz carpets tends to be wider and larger than most traditional Persian carpets. Classic Heriz and Serapi carpets combine geometric flowers and palmettes from the Caucasus as well as Shah Abbasi flowers, floral elements, and Islamic arches similar to those used by the legendary Safavid weavers.
To highlight elaborate medallions and floral centerpieces, weavers from Heriz used a combination of fawn, buff, and camel colored backgrounds along with contrasting outlines. Colors used in traditional Heriz rugs include natural black fleece, ivory, muted green, sky blue, and red from the madder root.
Antique Heriz carpets also known as Serapi carpets are known for their unique shade of blue, which often resembles turquoise or teal. Early Heriz and Serapi carpets age gracefully; brilliant colors fade and carpets take on a refined appearance as the bright madder dye slowly dulls to muted sandstone and brick-like reds.
Older Heriz and Serapi carpets were knotted over a wool fiber warp while carpets made later in the 19th Century used cotton for the warp, weft, and fringe. Weavers in Iran and Heriz used the symmetrical Turkish or Ghiordes knot to produce thick-pile carpets with as many as 100 knots per square inch in wool carpets and more than 1,000 knots per square inch in silk carpets.
Heriz Serapi rugs as well as those produced in the neighboring cities of Ghorevan and Ahar are known for their geometric figures, unique colors, high-quality construction, and attention to detail. Despite a 13-year embargo on Iranian Heriz and Serapi Heriz rugs imported into the U.S., which ended in 2000, Heriz carpets remain one of the most iconic styles of Oriental rugs.
Just west of Tabriz lies the village of Heriz, located in the Iranian 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.
Beautiful persian Antique Heriz Serapi Rugs
Antique Heriz Serapi Rugs – Bakshaish carpets and antique Heriz Serapi rugs are undoubtedly some of the most coveted decorative styles to emerge from Persia.
These spectacular antique carpets feature an ideal combination of physical and aesthetic characteristics that have contributed to their extraordinary popularity and enduring status.
All the Heriz rugs, Serapi rugs and Bakshaish rugs originated in the Northwestern Persian district of Heriz & were woven largely during the 19th century. These carpets are prized for their expansive size, tribal geometric designs, superior materials and a variety of other desirable traits and attributes.
Influenced by carpets produced in nearby Tabriz, weavers in this historic area were artists who developed a refined style and excellent methods for producing rich abrashed colors that acquire a lovely patina and an oxidized aura with age.
Copper found in the region’s water has long been credited as the secret behind the area’s phenomenal colors, nuanced abrash and silky wool.
These classic rugs are famous for featuring magnificent medallion compositions that are filled with well-developed botanical motifs and angular accents. By their nature, these rugs are harmonious, yet they feature a wide variety of balanced elements that create a visual masterpiece.
The precise proportions and restrained botanical embellishments produce an unpretentious style that is elegant yet dramatically different from the superfluous arabesques favored in other areas and even the dense repeating patterns found in later Serapi Heriz rugs (which are referred to as Heriz rugs by people in the trade).
Grand octofoils decorated with dramatic botanical motifs and serrated pendants are iconic representations of these pieces.
However, some of the Heriz Serapi rugs are occasionally decorated with allover repeating patterns or flamboyant medallions that are set over monochromatic fields. Rich colors attract many designers to the stately antique oriental rugs of Northwest Persia.
Although weavers in Northwest Persia and the province of Azerbaijan used many of the same dye-stuffs as their counterparts in the Caucasus, the results are very different. Acting as a natural mordant, traces of copper produce rich brick reds and blushing rose hues using madder root dyes. With indigo, talented dyers created an impressive array of colors that range from inky midnight blue to clear azure.
However, weavers also excel at incorporating creamy un-dyed fleece accents. Explore our collection of Persian antique Heriz Serapi rugs to discover the allure of these luxurious and aesthetically rich pieces.
Antique Heriz Serapi Rugs are Smart and On-Trend Solutions to Home Design in 2015
Heriz Serapi Rugs — We’re now officially one week into 2015, which means that it’s time to get to work on those resolutions we prescribed ourselves while under the influence of the allure of a new year. It’s time to sign up for those gym memberships, make good on pledges to be kinder, and spruce up all the various aspects of our lives that need updating.
One of the best resolutions you can keep that will have a real impact on your lifestyle this coming year is an investment in your home. We spend a significant amount of time in our homes, and great quality of life depends on living in a space that feels inspiring and beautiful. Updating your home décor is a great way to get into a fresh new mindset and to take on the challenges and opportunities 2015 is sure to bring.
Updating your home often comes with a considerable investment, which is why it’s important when redecorating a room (or rooms) to keep in mind the longevity and timelessness of your home décor, as well as contemporary trends. Purchasing beautiful antique pieces that increase in value over time and are made to last is a fantastic way to ensure that your home design never feels overly trendy or quickly outdated. Our Antique Persian rugs at Nazmiyal Collection, especially those of the Heriz-Serapi and Bakshaish variety from Northwest Persia, are wonderful pieces to consider for your home for this very reason.
Omri Schwartz, General Manager of Nazmiyal Collection, states: “Heriz Serapi rugs are probably the most popular oriental carpets in today’s market, and with good reason: They exude a casual elegance that seamlessly integrates into and enhances both traditional and ultra-modern interiors,” Overseeing an inventory of thousands of antique rugs from a variety of origins, Mr. Schwartz is an expert on helping clients choose the perfect piece for their home, and often recommends carpets of the Heriz-Serapi variety. The reason, he states, is that “these rugs are extremely versatile, and work beautifully in a range of design schemes”. Since Heriz Serapi rugs come in an incredible variety of color, size, and pattern, finding one to fall in love with is easy.
Furthermore, these rugs are hand-made to last for centuries. They acquire a beautiful patina over time that can’t be matched by contemporary, machine-made imitations. Finally, current trends in interior design, which place an emphasis on large-scale patterning, and the mixing of antique and contemporary elements in a single space, make decorating with Heriz rugs and Serapi rugs a no-brainer.
The construction and diverse weaving patterns that can be found in antique Heriz-Serapi and Bakshaish rugs makes them an incredibly versatile type of rug for decorating. Because there is no one pattern that defines these rugs, their patterns can range from the more tribal side to the more classical end of the spectrum. Heriz-Serapi rugs can be very strictly composed, or can show more of the weavers’ “hand” in their idiosyncrasies and quirks; this variety allows antique Persian Serapi-Heriz rugs to work in many different styles of interiors.
Furthermore, antique Persian Heriz Serapi and Bakshaish rugs are incredibly resilient, and made to last: Our experts here at Nazmiyal and other antique rug scholars attribute their strength to the large amounts of copper in the water of Northwestern Iran, which makes the wool of the sheep who drink from there particularly durable. Hand-weaving also contributes to the strength of these gorgeous antique rugs, as each is made with the skill and care of a master artist, using only the finest natural dyes and yarns. Plus, because antique Persian rugs are made by hand, no two are the same; using an antique Heriz-Serapi rug in your home ensures that your space will look and feel uniquely yours.
While antique Persian rugs are great investments and truly never go out of style, the popular design trends for 2015 make these types of carpet particularly appropriate and enticing choices this year. Many design publications and high-profile decorators are forecasting 2015 to be a year of large-scale, bold patterns. These types of design motifs abound in antique Heriz Serapi carpets. Although patterns in these antique Persian rugs range from floral sprays to geometric designs, one aspect their patterns have in common is their boldness and vibrancy. This means that these rugs hold their own and make a statement, whether paired with ornate classical furniture, or sleeker more contemporary designs.
Another strategy for interior design that is projected to be popular in 2015 is the mixing of vintage or antique pieces with modern designs. This approach gives one’s home a unique look that is extremely narrative and customizable. Paired with contemporary design elements like polished metals, funky furniture, and chic minimalist accents, these rugs appear on-trend, yet un-fussy. Furthermore, the versatility of these rugs ensures that when your tastes change, the antique Heriz Serapi or Bakshaish rugs in your home will be easily adapted to new design schemes.
The key to following through with your 2015 goals is to remain inspired and energized long after the clock strikes midnight on New Years’ Eve. Investing in your home, and designing a space that revitalizes you and excites you is a fantastic way to stay motivated throughout the year. The beauty and longevity of antique Persian Heriz, Serapi and Bakshaish has been inspiring people around the world for centuries, and we at Nazmiyal are sure you will find them inspiring in your own home as well.