Description & Technical information

This is a very finely woven kilim made by a tribe called Bakhtiari. The winter home of the Bakhtiari is on the plains of Khuzestan, around Shushtar at the head of the Persian Gulf. In summer they migrate through the Zagros Mountains to the Chahar Mahal valley to the west of Esfahan where they graze their animals. The Bakhtiari live in an area where until recently there were no roads or modern means of communication. They are not known for their commercial weaves, but mainly produce kilims for domestic use. To weave the kilims the Bakhtiari women use the double interlock tapestry weave technique. In this technique, the weft yarns, instead of forming slits at each color change, are linked to one another at every passage and so each color appears in the other color area and a marked ridge is produced on the working face of the fabric, like the detail on the picture. Thus it creates dissimilar faces. Undyed brown camel hair is used for the warps. The colors are not as vibrant as we find in Qashqa’i kilims, a neighboring tribe. The weave is loose and there are no strong selvedges. The soft and light fabric is too delicate for heavy use, although they were used in daily life. If the kilim is worn out, it is just replaced by a new one.

Date:  Around 1900
Period:  1850-1900, 19th century
Origin:  Iran
Medium: warp and weft: wool
Dimensions: 317 x 178 cm (124⁴/₅ x 70¹/₁₀ inches)
Categories: Textiles