Hamadans are hand knotted on a vertical loom using cotton warp and weft. Usually the weft is a single thread and the pile is of good quality wool sometimes mixed with camel hair, which is clipped medium to medium/long. Turkish knot with a density varying between 30 and 100 knots to the square inch. Almost all Hamadans have a fringe on one side while the opposite side terminates in a narrow selvedge. They are made in a wide range of sizes, though very large items are rare.
The majority of carpets known as Hamadan come from around fifty villages scattered over an area some sixty miles around the city. They possess a certain primitive charm and village authenticity, which is often the focal point of collectable appeal. The materials, by contrast, are of a very good quality. The different Hamadan areas are often called, improperly, Mosul, perhaps because it was to this city that carpets made in western Persia were sent for onward transmission to Constantinople. The best-known carpets of the Hamadan group are Borchelu and Khamseh. The first are carpets woven in the villages found to the east of Hamadan. The field is usually decorated with herati motifs on a red background. Often, too, there is a central medallion, sometimes floral and sometimes geometric, on an ivory background. The four corners repeat the central medallion pattern. The border is the classic one of three bands; the two guards have rosettes joined by a snake-like decoration and the central one repeats the decorative motifs of the field.
Khamseh is a region situated to the north of Hamadan and Khamseh carpets are among the best of the region. Their decoration has a central medallion in geometric form. These examples have four quarters at the sides, which are triangular and are decorated with the same motifs as the central medallion. Three bands with various decorations and very stylized designs form the border.
Each village has its own distinct variations, but there are a few overall characteristics that unify them into one relatively cohesive group. The Hamadan palette is dominated by reds, blues and whites, with greens, gold and yellow ochre’s as subsidiary hues; the design repertoire is based on geometric medallion-and-corner, herati and boteh schemes, and those which employ detached floral sprays in an allover fashion, similar to those employed in the nearby village of Sarough.