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What is Qashqai carpet?

Qashqai carpet is one of the most popular authentic nomadic carpets, which is very famous in the world. The Qashqai tribe is one of the largest nomadic tribes in Iran, which consists of about 200 clans, and the most important clans in which carpet weaving is popular are: Kashkuli clan, Shesh Bloki clan, Safi-Khani, Chegini, Rahim-Lo, Dare-Shouri and etc. About one-tenth of Qashqai nomads’ handwovens belong to the Kashkuli tribe, who are very skilled in weaving all kinds of carpets and rugs.

The Qashqai tribe came to Fars from the Caucasus in the early 9th century AH. During the past 400 years, Fars province has been the home of this tribe. At that time, 6 out of every 10 women were engaged in carpet weaving, and the rest did other tasks related to carpet weaving, including dyeing.  The Qashqai tribe, like other tribes, is made up of different tribes, including Turks, Lors, and Arabs,  the majority of whom are Turks. The center of this nomadic tribe is Fars province. Of course, due to the large number of clans, they live in the surrounding provinces such as Khuzestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Bushehr.


                          Qashqai woman

Before coming to Iran, the Qashqai tribe lived in the Caucasus and Central Asia, so their carpets are influenced by 3 regions. These carpets with minimal and elegant patterns are similar to the Turkmen carpets that are popular in Central Asia and Afghanistan. They have also learned how to use hot and warm colors from the people of the Caucasus and used them in their carpets, and in Iran they have developed their carpets in terms of texture and combination with other Iranian motifs.


                 Qashqai red rug 3’2″*4’9″

Qashqai handwoven carpet fibers

Qashqai nomads are mostly engaged in animal husbandry and raising sheep. They spun the wool of their sheep and used it for their carpets. Due to the choice of high-quality wool as carpet piles, the quality of nomadic carpets is also high. Also, Qashqai carpets are made of goat hair and Horse hair , which is completely natural. In the past, the warp and weft of Qashqai carpets were all wool, but due to the decrease of hand-spun wool and the increase of factory threads, today the warp and weft is made of cotton.

How to identify the Qashqai carpet?

The first method is to look at the medallion, the medallion of the Qashqai hand-woven carpet is usually rhombus-shaped and in the middle there is a crab (with four turned arms).


           Crab medallion of Qashqai rug

The second method is that the number of medallions of the carpet should be odd, in small carpets there are 1 medallion and 3 medallions, and in larger carpets there are 5 medallions and 7 medallions, respectively. Of course, there are exceptions.


             Three medallion Qashqai rug

The third method is the colors used are red, blue, ivory, light green and yellowو and you rarely see dark colors in the carpet.


                  Colors in Qashqai rug

Features of Qashqai carpet

  • Wool is used for pile,warp and weft of carpets. Of course, in some carpets, warp and weft may be woven with cotton threads.
  • Although Qashqai carpets are similar to Shiraz carpets, Qashqai carpets usually have better quality and their weight is higher than Shiraz carpets.
  • In Qashqai carpets, light colors such as red, yellow and green are used more than dark colors such as brown and navy.
  • Both symmetric and asymmetric knots are used in carpet weaving. Symmetrical knots are more common among Baharlu, Arab and Bolverdi clans.
  • These carpets are woven using the two-wefted technique, and the wefts are mostly shades of red.
  • The density of knots in Qashqai carpet is from 25 to 40 knots per 7cm.
  • Qashqai carpets are soft, thin and delicate but at the same time durable and their quality does not decrease with the passage of time.
  • Qashqai nomads use ground or horizontal looms to weave carpets. Because these houses are suitable for Qashqai life and can be easily folded and moved when moving. They also fit easily in nomadic tents.

Qashqai handwoven carpet Designs

Some Qashqai carpets are woven mentally without a map and based on the imagination, culture and nature of each tribe, that is why they do not have a special order and are not completely similar. Weavers of Shesh-blocki clans, especially Heibat-Lo, Safi-Khani , Shekarlo, etc, have used this method.


                      Qashqai map 2’5″*5’5″

The Qashqais lived near Persepolis, that’s why they have used the symbols of this historical place in their designs. You can see images of Persepolis columns and soldiers in some Qashqai carpets.

In the past, Iranian lions were seen in the Fars region, for this reason, the image of a lion is present in some Qashqai handwovens. In Iranian culture, the lion is a symbol of courage and masculinity.


                           Lion on Qashqai rug

There are other patterns that are woven with a specific pattern and order. Patterns such as rhombus, square, Nazem, Fish, Bote Jeghe, and Afshan are from this category.


                 Qashqai Nazem design

Dyeing Qashqai carpets

Qashqai carpets mostly have happy and bright colors. Today, the number of these colors in Qashqai carpets reaches 14. Red, turquoise blue, green and white colors are the most popular colors among the nomads. Weavers get the colors they need from nature, such as madder root, onion shell, indigo, all of which are found in abundance. Despite the fact that vegetable dyeing has higher costs than chemical dyeing, but they also have special characteristics. Stability in the sunlight, durability over time, health and non-sensitivity and brightness are the characteristics of plant colors used in Qashqai carpets.


                 Dyeing on handspun wool

Online purchase of hand-woven Qashqai carpets

Qashqai hand-woven carpets are made by hardworking and tasteful nomadic people. By buying this carpet, you bring the goods woven by nomadic women with their hopes and imaginations into your home. All stages of picking, spinning and dyeing of the wools are done by these nomadic women. In addition, these carpets refresh the mood of your life due to their geometric designs and bright colors. If you are interested in buying this authentic carpet after reading this article and seeing the Qashqai carpets available on the, just let us know, we will guide you in the direction of a safe purchase.


Persian Qashqai rug from Shekarlou tribes