Habibian – Nain
Fatollah Habibian is known as the “Father of Nain Rugs.” He was born in 1903 in the city of Nain. He knotted his first carpet as a school boy. He left Nain in his teenage years to become an apprentice at a carpet making workshop. He returned to Nain and opened, along with his brother Mohammad, their own workshop in 1920.
Fatollah had always shown a natural gift of carpet making. By the time of opening the shop he had already mastered the skills to create very fine rugs. Fatollah and Mohammad began making very fine rugs, often out of pure silk. His craftsmanship and artistic vision almost singlehandedly shaped the face of Nain carpets as we know them today.
Always incorporating beautiful colours and intricate designs, a Habibian Nain is always an incredible example of exemplary carpet making. Nain carpets are known for their beautiful designs and unique colour palate. The design is, in most cases, made up of an ornate medallion, surrounded by elaborate floral designs. The colours used are almost always ivories, creams, and greys, amongst blues ranging from light (commonplace) to darker hues. The pile of the carpet is usually quite short and silk is often used to highlight the designs. Nains are decorative while still being hard wearing carpets.
Fatollah continued to make carpets well into his eighties, as well as teach the craft to others. He passed the business onto his Grandson, Mamud Reza Habibian. Master Fatollah Habibian passed away in 1995.
Habibian Nains made by the Master Fatollah Habibian have become increasing harder to find as the year go by. They still produce Nain carpets under the Habibian name, the quality is still very good, but they are produced at a much slower rate.
A Habibian carpet is an exceptional example of carpet making in the 2000 century. Their impact is one of noteworthy excellence in design, quality, and craftsmanship.
Seirafian – Isfahan~ The Seirafian Family is known for the highest quality carpets coming from the Iranian city of Isfahan. These Seirafian Isfahans are considered the best of the best. They became very famous for their incredible construction, impeccable quality, and beautiful design. The tradition dates back to 1939, when Haj Agha Reza Seirafian (1881-1974) left the banking and investment trade to enter the carpet business. He entered the trade by acquiring two unfinished carpets from a master-weaver for money he was owed. He completed those two rugs, and then set out to improve the quality of Isfahan carpets by tripling the knots per square inch. By doing this the knot counts jumped from 270 k/psi to 500 k/psi and higher. He also made sure the highest quality materials used. Major upgrades to materials was almost exclusively using pure silk warp and wefts, kurk wool, as well as silk in the pile. Kurk wool is sheared from the chest and shoulders of lambs and is one trademark of a premium Persian Seirafian rug. This fine wool is what allows the weavers to achieve such a high knot count. Almost all Seirafian are branded with their trademark signature “Bafte Iran Esfahan Seirafian.” This is written in Farsi and knotted right into the pile of the carpet. At the beginning although Seirafian rugs were admired for their quality, some competitors were disgruntled. Seirafian was sued by other carpet makers in the city, alleging he was paying his employees to high a wage. They stated that this made for unfair competition to procure skilled weavers. Luckily, the courts ruled in favour of the Seirafian Family. They were able to continue to produce high quality carpets and pay their employees a fair wage. Through the years more and more family members became involved. Seirafian’s seven sons all entered the family business. One of them being Sadegh Seirafian. Who joined the business shortly after graduating high school. He showed great skill and imagination when it came to his designs. Some of his famous and revered works include Flower Garden, Phoenix, Love Garden, and Seirafian Paradise. Also Sadegh’s older brother Mohammad became a very highly skilled weaver. He was 19 when he first started producing carpets, which was also the same time his father (Haj Agha Reza) started. His work is of the utmost quality and is very often cited in books and publications when referencing “Seirafian Carpets”. One of his works is featured in “The Encyclopedia of Persian Carpets” that states it is a “master piece among the master pieces of this century.” Another notable Mohammad produced piece is a 25 square foot carpet that he donated to the UN. It now hangs on the wall in the UN Auditorium in New York City and is considered one of the most valuable carpets in the world. Mohammad wove a verse of a poem into the body of the carpet with pure gold. The poem is by Iranian poet Sheikh Musleh-Uddin Sa’di Shirazi. The verse is from a poem entitled Oneness of Mankind. Translated into English the verse reads… “All men are members of the same body, Created from one essence. If fate brings suffering to one member, The others cannot stay at rest. You who remain indifferent To the burden of pain of others, Do not deserve to be called human.” The tradition was handed down yet another generation to Mojtaba Sierafian. Mojtaba was the first son of Mohammad and first grandson of Master Haj Agha Reza Seirafian. From an early age Mojtaba was seeing the master works of his father and grandfather. While still in high school, at the age of 16 he began weaving carpets on his own. He attended the National University of Iran, attaining Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He furthered his studies at Cambridge studying English for a year. He then returned to Isfahan and started producing carpets seriously. His carpets were keeping with the family tradition of utmost quality and craftsmanship. He now uses his knowledge of Seirafian Isfahan Carpets to prepare certificates of origin. The legacy that Master Haj Agha Reza Seirafian began has in total been carried on by seven sons and twenty-four grandsons throughout the years. The number of workshops expanded as other relatives (cousins or uncles) of the founder were brought in and eventually received the approval of the Seirafian’s as competent rug producers. Thirty-two workshops with the Seirafian name have been opened throughout the years. The carpets are not only revered for their magnificent beauty and craftsmanship. They have also become highly collectable pieces of the last centuries art history. The name Seirafian is synonymous with Persian Carpet quality.
Ahad Azimzadeh – Tabriz Ahad Azimzadeh Esphanjani was born in the city of Tabriz in 1957. He started school at the age of 7. But due to the loss of his Father and financial constraints of this family he could not continue with school. So instead of going to school he worked in the carpet weaving trade by day, and studied at night. By the age of 14 he was buying and selling small hand made carpets from the surrounding areas. Doing this enabled him to become part owner of a carpet store in Tabriz by the age of 18. At this time he was enlisted for military service, but was given an exemption because of the love of carpets and carpet making he had developed. At this point in his life he decided to take his carpet knowledge abroad. He travelled to Germany to gain more knowledge of the carpet industry. While there he realized that affluent people from around the world would often come to Europe seeking out highly desirable and rare carpets. Despite a language barrier he went to Geneva and collected as much information as he could before returning to Iran. When he arrived back in Iran he decided to introduce round rugs to his production. The introduction of the round designs was warmly received and brought change to the carpet making industry in Iran. He had now had two workshops, on in Tabriz, the other being in Isfahan. Between the two workshops he had 300 labourers between the two workshops. He once again travelled to Europe. This time he was more determined to find out what carpets were more desired, specifically in design, colours, and size. With the information he collected he returned to Iran and started to produce carpets that suited the areas he had visited. At this time he also bought a shop, as well as a warehouse in Tehran. In 2001 he travelled to England and was awarded the International Golden Trophy for hand woven carpets. This award was for Quality and Management and Job Prestige. Within a year he had established a permanent exhibition of precious handmade carpets in the city of Tehran. This exhibition is known has the biggest and most through collection of Iranian rugs. He was then honoured in New York City with the Platinum Category trophy as the most successful trader in the carpet industry. He believes he was awarded this prestigious award because of his perseverance, business management, and fulfilling customer’s needs. As well as his innovations brought to the industry. His dedication to the industry has been unparalleled, and he attributes his successes to mainly, truth and honesty. As well as having a positive impact on the industry itself, he prides his achievements on his company’s impeccable customer service. After 20+ years in the industry his achievement and innovations have made Ahad Azimzadeh an important figure in carpet making history. Azimzadeh carpets:
The Amoo Oghli Brothers
Amoo Oghli – Mashad Mohammad Kahnemouei was from the province of Azebaijan, and is firstly known as a professional silk carpet weaver. When he began his career he produced the silk that was used in the making of silk carpets. He then became a carpet dealer in the city of Tabriz. Between the years of 1870 and 1890 he changed his name to Mohammad Amoo Oghli, at this time he also changed his businesses name. When he changed his name he also changed his business to start producing carpets of his own. As well as producing carpets, he was also an importerexporter. His two sons, Abdol Mohammad and Ali Khan were also very interested in the art of carpets and carpet making. His first born son Abdol Mohammad became a master carpet weaver. His impact on the world of Persian carpets was signifigant, as he took the art of carpet making to a higher level, in terms of magnificent quality carpets he made. When Abdol Mohammad was young, he and his younger brother Ali Khan worked in a small workshop called Ardeshir in the city of Mashad. Shortly after that they opened their own workshop, after they had learned the trade and techniques of fine carpet making. As their small business grew they were able to open multiple other workshops. The carpets they produced are to this day still considered some of the finest Persian carpets. Their carpets are still displayed in art exhibits around the world. The Amoo Oghli brothers workshops were mainly located in the villages surrounding Mashad, such as Shandiz and Mahmoud Abad. In the years that Abdol Mohammad Amoo Oghli was alive, the carpets they made in that time were the finest produced in Iran and also some of the most famous. This had to do with the very fine quality, as well as the patterns and designs that were unlike any other carpets made. One of the main innovations they made was they were able to make carpets so fine and thin they were like touching fabric. The two designers they had working for them, Abdol Karim Kermani and Abdol Hamid Sanatnegar, were also famous painters. The majority of Amoo Oghli carpets were produced from the designs of these two designerspainters. These designs were translated from two books of antique carpets. These books were complied in England and documented carpets as old as the Safavieh Dynasty (1252 – 1334). The designers saw the pictures of these very old carpets and then translated the designs into their own carpets. Abdol Mohammad Amoo Oghli’s carpets were made from old patterns, but updated into new and beautiful designs. So in turn, beacuse of the fineness, the natural dyes, and the gorgeous designs they were like no other carpets made before or since. Unfortunately, despite his very genuine and kind nature and the major impact he had on Persian carpet making, Amoo Oghli was never a wealthy man. The Amoo Oghli’s place in the history of Persian carpet making world is undeniably important and the carpets they produced are still considered master works. Their carpets were also fixtures in the palace of the Shah of Iran. When the master Abdol Mohammad Amoo Oghli passed away, his younger brother Ali Khan continued with the business. Amoo Oghli carpets found in a palace of the Shah of Iran: