The historical city of Tabriz was the earliest capital of the Safavid dynasty and today it is the 6th most populous city in Iran. Located 600 km west of Tehran it is the capital of East Azerbaijan province and a city that can claim to have been a carpet production center longer than any other city in the country.
Tabriz was traditionally a city of master weavers and still today the carpets knotted here use some of the highest technical standards in existence. Carpet manufacturing is extensive and the quality of carpets varies from the more accessible bazaar quality like carpet to the more exclusive and exceptional of carpets with a knot density of more than 1 million knots per square metre, a quality carpet that takes well over a year to complete.
The design repertoire of Tabriz carpets is among the most diverse and varied and carpets with both classical medallion designs as well as stunning allover designs can be found in every colour combination imaginable, with everything from vivid to pastel, the palette is as diverse as the designs. The patterns are sometimes inspired by nature motifs and creatively depict images of Persian farmers during the different seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Othertimes Tabriz carpets with portraits of palaces and ruins or of famous poets with excerpts of Persian poems such as from Sadi (the most famous poet in the country) and other philosophical interpretations are integrated into the carpets. It can be said that Tabriz carpets surely tell their own personal story in the true sense of the word.
Tabriz carpets are made using a very thin high quality wool which allows for a greater amount of detail. Even in the simpler of carpets the knot density is still around 400,000 knots/m2 which is considerably higher than in many other Persian carpet types. The amount of details in these carpets is impressive with details that are sometimes accentuated with silk to add lustre, almost bringing the carpet to life.
Tabriz carpets have a unique quality denomination called ”Raj” which refers to the number of knots in a 7 cm span. The higher the Raj, the higher the quality and knot density of the carpet.
Tabriz 40 Raj carpets have a knot density of 400-500,00 knots/m2
Tabriz 50 Raj carpets have a knot density of 500-600,00 knots/m2
Tabriz 60 Raj carpets have a knot density of 600-800,00 knots/m2
Tabriz 70 Raj carpets have a knot density of 800-1.000.000 knots/m2
Tabriz 80 Raj carpets have a knot density of up to 1.300.000 knots/m2
It is extremely rare to find a Tabriz 70 Raj, let alone 80 Raj on the market today.