The vast majority of Kurdish rugs are produced in Iran. Carpets known as Bijar rugs are woven in about 40 cities throughout northwestern Iran. Weavers use luminous wool to create Bijar rugs. The pile is lush and longer than most other carpets. The Bijar is known as the "Iron Rug of Persia" because it is so densely constructed.

Rare Senneh carpets are woven in only one town, Sanandaj (once called Senneh). Senneh carpets are appreciated for their delicate weave. Some have pure silk foundations. The back of the wool carpet is said to have a grainy quality, which experts use to determine whether the rug is a genuine Senneh.
Weavers have developed their own versions of the Bijar and Senneh designs -- flowers, diamonds, and other geometric forms. That makes it difficult to pinpoint in which village a rug was made. In the early 1900s, hundreds of long runner carpets with geometric and floral designs were sold all around the world. The Iranian Kurds also produced very large rugs that could be seen in stately homes across America.

Northeastern Iran
The rugs of this region have only recently been identified. Here, rugs consist of strong geometric designs in a rainbow of colors, including indigo, emerald, maroon, purple, and yellow.
Older carpets from this area used unusual colors, such as copper and fuchsia. Carpets in this region are sometimes long and narrow instead of rectangular.

Turkey
Although not readily acknowledged by the Turks, the Kurds of eastern Turkey are among the country's best weavers. Most Kurds in Turkey live in small farming villages. In summer, they take their flocks to the high pastures, called yaylas. At one time, wool from their sheep was used primarily for making rugs and socks. Any excess wool was sold. Today, some of these people purchase wool for rug weaving.
The women and girls weave as part of their household chores, creating some of the Middle East's most beautiful rugs and kilims (reversible prayer rugs and carpets). The women work alone on some pieces, and sit side-by-side with other weavers for larger pieces. Girls learn by watching the more skilled weavers working next to them.

The women use small portable looms to make carpets, which are used as floor coverings, bed covers, wall hangings, saddlebags, and horse blankets. The carpets of this region are known for their bold colors. The women make dyes from natural sources, such as indigo and madder root, to stain the wool blue and red. Walnuts are used to make black and brown dyes.

Symmetry and perfection are not as important as the use of color. Ancient tribal carpets had an identifying mark, called a damga, woven into the design. Some symbolized a bird or an animal. Experts use these unique designs along with the method of construction and use of color to determine the tribe and village from which the rug originated. Weavers use motifs of birds, animals, flowers, and vegetables.

Northern Iraq
People of the Herki tribes are some of the most productive weavers in this area. They create rugs twice the size of a traditional rug. They use wool-dyed dark reds, rust browns, and blues.
Today, massive looms in large Kurdistan factories, mainly in Iran, also make enormous carpets. But many buyers still seek hand-woven Kurdish carpets to add to their collections.
 


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