Iran has a global reputation for its rugs, which are an integral part of the Iranian culture.
The process of creating a Persian rug starts with the grazing of sheep. Persian rugs are traditionally spun from sheep’s wool, the quality of which varies depending on the breed of sheep, climate, pasturage, and time of shearing. Women then turn the wool into thread by hand and boil the threads with natural dyes from plants and insects. For example, madder roots, cochineal, chamomile, grape leaves, pomegranate rind, and indigo produce reds, yellows, and blues. Only after the threads have dried does the weaving begin.
Weavers spend anywhere from several months to several years, depending on the size and quality of the rug, hunched over a loom creating thousands of knots. The rug often conveys the weaver’s character or mood, much in the same way an artist portrays their mood or views in a painting. Many rugs also contain intentional mistakes, symbolic that human beings are imperfect and perfection can only be attained by the creator. The rug is finally cut from the loom, washed, and dried in the sun. Although wool is the most traditional material, silk is also an option, but because it is a fine material, it doesn’t tolerate stress as well; therefore, silk rugs are ordinarily displayed on walls instead of on the floor
Floral? Geometric? Paisley? Traditional? Tribal? Depending on what area of Iran they come from, carpet patterns differ greatly. The diversity of patterns and colours is what makes these works of art unique and highly sort after.
Our most recent photoshoot took us the beautiful Persian carpet store, Essie in Piccadilly London. What better place to showcase our new collection of bold clashing prints than to use these beautiful works of art as our backdrop?
Essie Sakhai is one of Europe’s foremost rug dealers.
Born in Iran to a family with a long history of dealing in Persian carpets, perhaps it was inevitable that Essie Sakhai should become a respected expert on Oriental and Persian carpets, gaining much of his great knowledge from his father Benayahoo Sakhai.
Essie lives in North London, though he spends most of his time at Essie Carpets on the corner of Albemarle Street and Piccadily in London’s Mayfair, carrying on the family tradition started in the 18th century.
Essie is a true enthusiast and hopes through his extensive lectures, interviews and writing (his books include ‘The Fabric of Life’, ‘The Story of Carpets’, which has been translated into many languages, and The Buyers’ Guide) to share his knowledge and passion for carpets with a wider audience.