Welcoming Spring in Iran

Since the Persian New Year begins on the very first day of spring, our traditions for welcoming the new year are very spring-like. The rebirth of nature inspires us to renew and cleanse our surroundings. We scrupulously clean our homes, offices, and streets, we shop for new clothes, new household appliances if necessary, and spring flowers and plants are not to be left out. Bottom line, everything has to be as fresh and new as spring. In fact, we call our Persian New Year, Norooz which means a new day.

Watch the video posted below by Iran Press Tv to learn more about welcoming spring and the Persian New Year in Iran!

Wind Towers in Iran

In this program Iran Press TV talks about Wind Towers or Wind Catchers in Yazd, Iran. They show different types of them and different places they have been used at. They talk to experts about the importance of this most probably Iranian innovation which was built by the people in desert areas who used their creativity and natural energies like wind to overcome the harsh environment and extreme temperatures in the arid and hot areas they chose to live.

To learn more about the history, design and functionality of these fascinating towers, watch the video from Iran Press TV posted below!

#WindTowers #WindCatchers #Iran #Architecture #BabaksOrientalCarpets #VictoriaBC #YYJ

Chaharshanbeh Soori in Iran

One of our favorite rituals ahead of the Persian New Year is a fire festival on the eve of the last Wednesday of the outgoing Persian Year. So on the last Tuesday night of the year when the sun goes down, bonfires are lit all over Iran. As a custom of bidding evil adieu and welcoming hope and joy, we jump over bonfires saying an epigram out loud. And that, is just one of our customs for Chaharshanbeh Soori.

Watch the video posted below to learn more about the Chaharshanbeh Soori festivities!

Watercolor Painting in Iran

Watercolor painting has the reputation of being quite demanding and the whole difficulty in watercolor painting is almost entirely in learning how to anticipate the behavior of water, rather than attempting to control or dominate it. This week we had the privilege to meet some of the best watercolor painters in the country and learn a great deal about this art.

Watch the video posted below for an in depth look at watercolor painting in Iran!

Pomegranates in Saveh, Iran

Saveh is a city in the Markazi Province of Iran. Saveh is located about 100 km southwest of Tehran (the capital and largest city of Iran). As of 2011, the city of Saveh had a population of roughly 260,000 people.

Saveh is very famous for its rich agriculture and specially the pomegranate fruit. This delicious fruit, with its multiplicity of health benefits, is typically in season in Iran during the months of Autumn.

Saveh is a large producer of wheat and cotton. It is also very well known for its large agricultural production of pomegranates and melons.

Watch the Iran Program Press TV video posted below to get a better idea of the pomegranates produced by Saveh, Iran.

 

The Architecture of Villages in Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari

The architecture of villages in Iran vary from place to place depending on the climate and geographical location. Sometimes the houses are scattered all over an area, and sometimes they’re built so close to each other that you can’t really differentiate between the boundaries of one house and the next. #Bakhtiari #Architecture #Iran
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4EioSJOiQc

Isfahan

Isfahans are hand knotted on a vertical loom using a Persian knot and very high densities ranging from 160 to 400 knots per square inch.  Silk Isfahans have densities approaching 600 knots per square inch.  The warp is often of cotton and the pile is always closely cropped, usually wool and silk.  More often than not, silk is utilized in the decorations to heighten the effect of the carpets bestowing on it a certain gleam.

Isfahans are considered the crème de la crème of Persian carpets.  Created in the master workshops of the city of Isfahan, one of the most prestigious cities of the Middle East, they were probably the first Persian carpets to be known and appreciated in Europe.  In fact, during the reign of Shah Abbas (1587-1629) many carpets woven by the craftsmen of Isfahan were given as gifts to dignitaries and rulers from the West.  These examples were in silk and sometimes included the use of silver and gold thread.  The appearance of Isfahans produced in the last 50 years under the Pahlavi influence is radically different from those produced in the later 19th and early 20th centuries.  These older items tend to employ a richer palette and more varied designs.  In contemporary items the palette is more pastel and technical perfection is generally of greater importance than artistic flair.  Contemporary Isfahans are, however, extremely attractive, and the subduing of the palette, particularly the elimination of strong reds, makes them more compatible with Western decorative schemes.

Isfahans all have a floral design, usually with a central medallion on a field decorated by a motif of interlaced flowering branches or what is commonly refer to as the Shah Abbas motif.  Some specimens also have four corners decorated with the same motifs (Shah Abbas) and colours as those represented in the central medallion.  Carpets with scenes of flowers and animals are also quite common.  Another decoration that is typical of this area is the one known as ‘vase of flowers’.  The field of this carpet has at the bottom a vase from which flowering branches emerge and cover the whole of the field.  In these examples, the field is often in the form of a niche, and therefore there are two quarters at the top of the niche at the opposite end from the vase.

The border of Isfahans is usually made up of a large central band framed by two narrow guards that, in turn, are enclosed between two even narrower bands.  The latter are almost always decorated with a Greek-key motif, while the two guards have rosette motif joined by a garland.  The main border band often has a herati motif in a very elaborate form.  In carpets with a decoration of plants and animals the ground motifs are repeated in the border.  A very wide colour range is used in Isfahan carpets and the craftsmen were masters at creating a harmonious combination of ground and design by alternating light and dark colours.

The price range and value of Isfahans are: HIGH.

A good quality Isfahan is generally considered an assured investment.

Hatchlu

The Hatchlu rug is a very unique design falling under the Enssi category of rugs. Enssi refers to rugs that were traditionally used as entrance hangings to tents by Turkoman nomads in Central Asia. Today Enssi rugs are almost always associated with the popular Hatchlu design.

There are many variations of the Hatchlu design, yet almost all share a fundamental characteristic. Hatchlu rugs are divided into four usually symmetrical quadrants, with each quadrant featuring rows of small Y-shaped or “candle-stick” motifs.

There are several interpretations of the symbolism of Hatchlu rugs. Many dealers believe that the carpets were hung on entrances to the Turkoman nomads’ tents as a welcoming sign to visitors. Others believe that its one-way design has roots in the traditional prayer rug design. Some authorities also attribute the foundation of the design to be a reflection on the shape of the tents themselves (when viewed from one direction), symbolizing security and the home. Still others believe that the four quadrants represent the four innermost gardens to Islamic heaven.

Most Hatchlu rugs found today are tribal or workshop rugs hand knotted in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Afghan Hatchlus come in a variety of qualities and styles. This is because they are made by a variety of weavers in workshops, villages, and by members of different tribes.

 

The rugs use the “double knot” (Persian) weave and are extremely durable. They also have a very pretty protective kilim before the fringes on both sides as well as protection on the selvedges of the rugs, preventing any damage from rough use. The texture of the pile itself is smooth and fine and the wool has been clipped to a moderate level ¬ñ neither exceptionally short nor long.

Baluch tribes also make Hatchlu design rugs. These are less dense in knotting and have a different weave. As with most Baluch rugs, they usually are more random in design (e.g., along the border) than other Hatchlu rugs and may have differing background shades throughout the same rug. These also use a wool pile on a wool base, however, and while not quite as durable or heavy as the Afghan workshop variety, are still very strong and attractive pieces.

Although most Hatchlu rugs are made in 100% wool, there is also another type of Hatchlu rug called a Kabul silk Hatchlu. This type of rug has a silk and wool pile on a silk base and has a fine “double-knot” weave. These rugs are made in Kabul in Afghanistan and use Afghan silk. Generally they have short piles and are thinner than the Afghan Hatchlu rugs discussed above, as a result of the silk base and high percentage of silk in the pile. Nonetheless, they are also very durable pieces.

The price range and value of Hatchlus range from: MEDIUM TO HIGH (Collectable Antiques).