A Brief History of Qashqai Carpets
Qashqai (also known as Ghashghai or Qashghai) are a group of persian nomads located in the province of Fars in southwest Iran. They are also found in great populations in the persian regions of Shiraz, Khuzestan and southern Isfahan. The Qashqai annually migrate from Persian Gulf areas to the Zagros mountains with their flocks of sheep and goats to benefit from cooler weather during the summer season. They weave very fine semi-geometric designs, often filling the field of their carpets with animals and flowers. The semi-geometric designs of their carpets are mostly hexagons or diamonds with four projecting hooks inside of a hooked diamond. The sophistication of their weavings is particularly impressive if one remembers that all their work is produced by tent dwellers living in harsh desert conditions. There are Qashqai carpets showcasing the Hebatlu design, a design name based on the weavers tribe name. These are carpets with a circular central medallion and smaller designs similar to the central medallion repeated on each corner of the carpets. There are also Qashqai kilims woven by the Darashuri and Amaleh tribes. They woove the kilims in one piece with cotton highlights. Their designs are more simplistic and the warp of their carpets finish with long braids. Qashqai carpets have a rich variety of styles produced by their tribe. These may include depictions of a whole world of animals - lions, tigers, dogs, birds - as well as thousands of flowers, and demonstrates the great skill of the weaver who would have worked entirely from memory and improvised as he wove. Another design is the 'boteh' or seed design, in colours of deep madder red, rich golden yellow and ultramarine, all colours loved by the Qashqai weavers.