Heriz is a small town east of Tabriz in the province of east Azerbaijan (NW Iran). The area is Turkish-speaking, and the villages with their mud walls and flat roofs on which hay is stacked resemble Turkish villages. Agriculturally the area is poor, though the altitude makes sheep rearing profitable. The best Iranian wool is produced from mountain sheep. Heriz are hand knotted on a vertical loom using a cotton warp and weft. The warp and weft are of very strong cotton and the pile is of Maku wool.
Heriz rugs have been exported since the nineteenth century. Warps and wefts are cotton, with a woolen pile, and through the weave is coarse, the carpets are solid and hardwearing. Predominantly larger sizes are made. The Designs are always geometrical, with large blocks of color and heavy outlining. The principle colors used are browns and reds. The most common design is a version of the Tabriz medallion, with all the curves reduced to straight lines. The craftsmen of Heriz, in fact, do not know how to weave in curvilinear patterns and transform the arabesques of the patterns into perpendicular, horizontal and diagonal lines. So two different kinds of carpets can result in the same design. The Tabriz carpet will be classic and sophisticated, while the Heriz will be simple and stylized. A more curvilinear type of Heriz carpet is made in the town of Ahar to the north. Other villages in the area important for carpet production are Sarab, to the southwest, which produces runners in a geometric design, and Kakadja, whose rugs are generally single wafted, use more, colors and have more intricate designs than Heriz. Carpets from Heriz have much in common with those from Tabriz, in particular the use of the Turkish knot, the schemes are also the same but the village craftsmen of Heriz interpret them in a very different way.
Because of their durability and reasonable price, the better quality Heriz – particularly those made in the town itself and, to a lesser degree, those from Ahar – are fair investments. The growing scarcity of authentic Persian village and tribal items may lead to all Heriz becoming more collectable in the future.
Here’s some examples of Heriz carpet that we carrry in our store.