Zanjan Rug

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Zanjan Rug
Design of Zanjan Rug (Rugman)
General information
NameZanjan Rug
Original nameقالی زنجان
Alternative name(s)Zanjan Carpet
Origin Iran: Zanjan
Technical information
Common designsHerati, Medallion, Geometric
Common colorsNavy Blue, Crimson, Cream, Blue, Orange, Black, Red, Begie
Dyeing methodNatural, Synthetic
Pile materialWool
Foundation materialCotton
Knot typeSymmetrical (Turkish)

Zanjan rugs originate from Zanjan, located in northwestern Iran quite close to Tehran, literally means “dear wife” or “dear woman” in Farsi. The magnificent tribal area rugs in Zanjan are all hand woven by nomadic tribes. Although Zanjan has a strong Turkish influence, the natives are all Kurdish. Living a peaceful and harmonious life with nature, the nomadic weavers live in a part of the world that is untouched by modern conveniences and technology. Both men and women partake in the art of weaving tribal area rugs both for their personal use and for commercial purposes. Weaving often represents the only source of income for the family. Crude, homemade looms are very compact in size so that they may be easily transported when the tribe migrates to its next location. It is for this reason that most Zanjan rugs are small in size. Their looms are just not able to accommodate the larger sizes. Zanjan rugs are single wefted in the center. The local artisans weave their tribal area rugs using both the Persian asymmetrical knot and the Turkish symmetrical knot.


Zanjan is the capital of the Zanjan Province in northwestern Iran. It is an ancient city with an Azeri population that speaks a Turkic dialect. The unusual word Zanjan means "dear wife" or "dear lady" in Farsi. Zanjan rugs are known in the market from the early twentieth century. Many weaving villages in this province produce rugs that are similar in design and market them with the Zanjan name.
Rug designs are geometric and mainly have a medallion style. The early patterns are characterized by a large hexagonal medallion containing a second, smaller center medallion. Often, the medallion extends to the top and bottom of the horizontal borders. Geometric designs of flower heads, Star motifs, lozenge shapes edged with Hook motifs, animals, birds, and other primitive designs cover the background and medallions. At times, Boteh (paisley) or Herati (fish) patterns are employed in the field and medallion. Notably, the neighboring Bidjar and Hamadan Provinces occasionally inspired Zanjan designs. Zanjan rugs can be categorized as mosuL Rugs in the old rug market.
The rugs have reds, dark blue, or ivory for the background. These colors are interchangeable for the medallions and border. Additionally, different shades of blue, brown, green, gray, and camel accentuate the minor borders, design elements, and outlines.
Zanjan rugs have a wool foundation and a medium to long wool pile. By the mid-twentieth century the weavers had switched to a cotton foundation. The Turkish (symmetric) knot is used. The formats range from small mats to rugs approximately ten feet by seven feet. Runners and gallery formats up to fifteen feet in length can occasionally be found in the market. The rugs are generally woven from medium to good in grade quality.
By the late twentieth century, many Zanjan weavers switched from weaving their traditional designs to make rugs similar to those of other cities and villages in the region in accordance with the demand of domestic and foreign consumers.[1]

See also

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  1. Moheban, 2015, 632


  1. Abraham Levi Moheban. 2015. The Encyclopedia of Antique Carpets: Twenty-Five Centuries of Weaving. NewYork: Princeton Architectural Press.