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What is gabbeh?

Gabbeh is a type of rug that is woven by nomads in Lorestan and Qashqai regions of Iran. In the past, gabbeh was used as small carpets by nomads, but nowadays it is used not only in Iran but also in other countries as beautiful handicrafts in the interior decoration of houses. Gabbeh is a type of hand-woven with coarse knots, which has 1 to 3 cm long piles. The main materials used in gabbeh are sheep wool and goat wool, which are obtained from the best wool of nomadic sheep. The important thing about the wool used in gabbeh is that first, the wool is spun and twisted by hand by the nomads, then it is ready for dyeing. The color used in gabbeh is obtained completely naturally from plants in nature.

persian gabbehs

                          Persian Handmade Gabbehs

The way of weaving is similar to the carpet, but between 3 and 8 wefts are used in each row. The weight of gabbeh is heavy due to its long piles and the large number of wefts that are used, and each meter of gabbeh weighs about 3 kg. Gabbehs are usually woven on ground looms with symmetrical and asymmetrical knots. The most common knot in Gabbehs is the asymmetrical knot, but Qashqai nomads usually use symmetrical Turkish knots to weave Gabbeh. Qashqai gabbeh is of high quality due to the use of wool and completely natural color, which has made it popular in the world markets.


      Gabbeh Movie(1996) Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

What are the characteristics of Gabbeh?

  • Gabbeh is usually woven in small dimensions.
  • It has long piles that reach up to 3 cm.
  • Symmetrical and asymmetrical knots are used in weaving.
  • Gabbehs have more wefts and sometimes the number of wefts reaches 8.
  • The gabbehs are woven with simple motifs inspired by nature.
  • Gabbeh has very high durability and strength.
  • Because of the high quality wool used, it is warm and beneficial for bone health.


                                  Lovely Small Gabbeh

What tools do we need for weaving Gabbeh?

It depends on the type of node. For the asymmetrical knot, we need a knife, a comb, scissors, a stik and a horizontal loom. But to weave the Qashqai gabbeh, we need a hook, scissors, a comb, a stik, and a vertical loom. The method of weaving gabbeh is first to knit a row with a symmetrical or asymmetrical knot, after weaving each row, a thick weft is passed, then it is beaten with a comb, and then the thin weft is passed with a stik. They repeat passing thin and thick wefts once more and then start knitting the next row. Because thick wool is used to weave the gabbeh, it is finished in a much shorter time than the  hand-made carpet.

weaving gabbeh

                                    Weaving Gabbeh

What is the difference between Gabbeh and carpet?

  • Two types of thick and thin wefts are used in carpet weaving, but more than 3 wefts are used in each row to weave a gabbeh.
  • Gabbeh is woven with long piles and this problem makes it heavier than carpet.
  • Due to the higher number of wefts in the gabbeh than the carpet, the gabbeh has a softer texture.
  •  The designs of gabbeh are generally simple and imaginary designs of the texture, but the carpet is woven with pre-prepared designs.
  • Gabbeh is usually woven in small sizes, but carpets are woven in small and large sizes.
  • Due to the long piles, compared to carpets and kilims, gabbehs are warmer.
  • Gabbehs are dyed with completely vegetable materials in most cases, but chemical dyes are also used in carpets.
  • It takes less time to weave a gabbeh than a rug of the same size.


                                       Qashqai Gabbeh

Gabbeh maintenance principles

  • Don’t keep the gabbeh like a handwoven carpet in a humid room without ventilation.
  • Place the gabbeh in a place where there is good air flow and good light in the room.
  • Do not widen the gabbeh on plaster and limestone floors.
  • Avoid placing heavy items such as sofa and table legs on the gabbeh.
  • The piles of the gabbeh are long and it is a good place for food waste and dust to stay, so sweep the carpet every week.
  • Avoid constantly placing the gabbeh in front of the sun and preferably use curtains for the windows.
  • If liquid is spilled on the gabbeh, first collect it with a spoon, then wash it with water and suitable detergent and place it in front of the sun to dry.


                               Minimalistic Pattern Gabbeh

Gebbeh is woven by skilled carpet weavers and Iranian nomads and has a great value just like hand-woven carpets. The simple and beautiful designs of Gebbeh have made this carpet easily compatible with modern and minimal decorations and has gained many fans. In this article, we tried to tell you what gabbeh is and introduce you to the differences between gabbeh and carpet. If you have had the experience of using gabbeh, share your valuable experiences with us. Also, if you want to buy carpet, Vernacarpet will make it easy for you with a lot of experience and free advice.

persian gabbeh

              The Stunning Persian Gabbeh, Tgribal Rug