Information about Antique Persian Sarouk Rugs
Although these names are sometimes used interchangeably to describe carpets from this region, there are slight differences between these rugs based on period of production, motifs and pattern, color, thickness and quality. Several are named for the villages and towns that produced them including Farahan, Sarouk and Mushkabad.
Antique Feraghan (Farahan) Sarouk Rugs
Feraghans were woven in the village of Sarouk but carpets given the name Farahan are of a distinct and exceptional type. These rugs were made over a period of one hundred years beginning in the mid 18th century.
They have an asymmetrical knot on a cotton ground; the wefts are dyed blue or occasionally pinkish red. The weave is extremely fine and the many patterns combine both tribal and more traditional designs. They often have a floral border with a soft pale apple or pistachio green ground.
Feraghans were made between the 1870s and 1913 from a region north of the town of Arak, produced for the Persian aristocracy. They are single wefted, long and narrow or room-sized carpets, typically with an allover herati design or floral and curling leaf motifs.
Sarouk Feraghans exhibit rich colors, often a red field, deep indigo accents and subtle shades of green. Feraghans are of a finer weave than other types of Sultanabads, with delicately executed motifs.
Feraghan-Sarouks, also called Sarouks, are double-wefted, heavier carpets with a higher knot count than village Sultanabads. Fields are often blue or ivory and designs typically feature either large medallions or representations of trees and birds.
They were developed in response to Tabriz merchants who were exporting carpets to the West. Designs were supplied to the weavers in the Sultanabad region who had difficulty executing the fine patterns; thus, these carpets tend to be a bit unbalanced and off-kilter.
Both Feraghans and Feraghan-Sarouks waned in popularity as the American Sarouk gained prominence. American Sarouks were designed to appeal to the American consumer. Colors, typically burgundy or rose-colored but also blue, were chosen to be compatible with wooden furniture. The motifs are all-over designs of sprays of flowers, vines and leaves more sparsely woven in the field than a traditional Persian Rug.
Dyes did not hold up to alkaline washings during manufacture, so the red backgrounds were painted to intensify the color. Today, the area continues to produce good-quality, vegetable-dye antique rugs in the tradition of Sarouks and Feraghans woven in the region throughout the last two hundred years.