The term Gabbeh comes from the Persian Farsi and can be translated to mean raw, natural and uncut. A perfect description for these popular carpets with simple minimalistic designs often featuring very few decorative elements, largely inspired by nature.
Gabbeh carpets are knotted by hand using high quality wool and are probably the most well-known of all handmade Oriental carpets. They have a thick pile in comparison to other hand-knotted carpets and can be up to 2.5 cm thick which makes them extremely soft and comfortable to walk on. They are great for absorbing sound and fit easily into most rooms and settings.
The original Gabbeh carpets are the Persian Gabbeh, knotted by the Ghashghai nomads. The rustic charm and simplicity of the carpets made them very popular. Indian weavers quickly picked up on this and started making their own Indian Gabbeh carpets. There is also a third kind of Gabbeh known as the Gabbeh Kashkooli, a Persian Gabbeh carpet with a shorter pile and higher knot density than the original or classical Persian Gabbeh.
A rule of thumb is that Persian Gabbeh carpets are superior in quality to Indian Gabbeh carpets. They are softer and more durable and the wool used is of higher quality. It is not difficult to distinguish between the two kinds and this is also reflected in the price of the carpet.