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  • Date :
  • 10/27/2009

Iranian Carpets: Gabbeh

four lion design gabbeh

Gabbeh is a kind of Knitted weaving, thicker and softer than rug, but with less image. It has longer fluff and more wefts. So weaving gabbeh is simpler than rug and it is less worn out and more durable. This type of rug is popular among tribes of the Zagros mountains including Kurdish, Luri and Qashqai tribes. The Gabbeh is usually crafted by women.

In past, gabbeh weaving was more common than rug weaving, but today some kinds of gabbeh with new motifs are customary. Gabbeh fluffs are about 1 to 1.5 cm long, and cover wefts, with coarse knots and thick Fringes. Number of its wales is very low.

Gabbeh needs no actual design and much effort. Weaver could divide images, with thousand of knots.

Images are about nature and his (her) environment and his (her) imaginary, in which he (she) is interested.

Usually gabbeh has 15 to 20 cm margin and monochrome ground. Mostly, it has a simple and initiative image in the middle of gabbeh.

In past gabbeh was woven even thinner than rug, that number of its wales was high and had more wefts. This type of gabbeh had flower, water pool, lion and tree, plain or lozenge and other initiative images.


• Flower

Level ground of this kind of gabbeh fills with red roses and small green leaves in arranged rows. These flowers are like shining gems on beautiful ground and margin of gabbeh is very amazing.

• Tree

Plant cover in forest tree, bushes and pastures, which are ornaments of mountains and fields, as well as birds, are images woven on ground of gabbeh in the shape of tree, tree with bird, flowers, meadows and flowing waters. Each weaver makes differences in his own taste.

• Water Pool (Gabbeh with lion image)

Tribes have been mostly interested in this image, before; use of this image may be related to the importance of lion in culture of ancient Iran. Lion is the symbol of bravery and boldness and tribal people are yet interested in such a pattern.

 It is a long time that Iranian, especially Fars people, have been interested in lion and preserved its concern with past by making this image on coins, stones statues and also stone images of lion. So lion image gabbeh has found its way to tents and people’s life. These gabbehs are usually spread on the rugs and in center of tents. Seeing this type of gabbeh, among vast fields and mountains, gives special brightness to tent space. Here, lion is the symbol of “Tent Ground”, and also braveness and pride of tent owner, as well.

• Other images

Tribe weavers create in their own taste and weave these images on ground or margin of gabbeh. Many imaginary designs have been seen, which could not be classified. Some of images are: Flower, tree and bird, warrior, ram, goat and ibex, hunter riding horse, Rostam and Sohrab, hawk hunting bird, horse riding and wedding ceremonies, mountain and river, white and black tents, various animals, lozenge repeated and cartoon gabbehs, etc.



Other links:

Qalamzani: Iranian Art of engraving images on metal

Iranian art: Termeh

Khatamkari: Artistic Heritage

Iranian Art: Mina-kari

Khatamkari (Photo Gallery)

Mina-kari ( Photo Gallery)

Qalamzani ( Photo Gallery)

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