Babak's Oriental Carpets
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Ghashgais are hand-knotted on a ground loom by the Ghashgai tribe who live in the Fars upland near Shiraz. The Ghashgai people are the most developed of...
Ghashgais are hand-knotted on a ground loom by the Ghashgai tribe who live in the Fars upland near Shiraz. The Ghashgai people are the most developed of the Fars tribes. The warp and weft are of cotton or wool and the pile is wool. The variety and quality of the colors are superior and the numbers of Turkish knots are about 100. The knotting on the better items can be extremely fine by nomadic standards, with 200 or more knots per square inch. Ghashgais are often confused with Shiraz carpets, which are made in and around the town of Shiraz using Ghashgai designs. Ghashgais are harder wearing, with a compact pile and faster, more varied colours. Large items are rare and Ghashgai also produce delightful textile artifacts, including bags, camel and donkey trappings and kelims.
Ghashgais are typically nomadic in design meaning there are lots of geometric and angular designs. The motifs are simple and executed in bold straight lines and bright colors. Their repertoire is among the most varied and visually exciting of any contemporary nomadic weaving tribe. It includes a wide spectrum of boteh (a stylized leaf-like floral symbol that often appears similar to a Paisley pattern), medallion and repeating floral schemes, but the most common motif and one by which a Ghashgai may be identified are the pole medallions and the hebatlu design which are like diamond shaped lozenge by itself in the center of the carpet or repeated along the length twice or three times according to the size of the carpet.
The diamond shape is usually light or dark blue and the field is almost always red and decorated with stylized plant motifs. Ghashgais are also noted for the frequent inclusion in the field of tiny people and animals, as well as the more customary floral and vegetable motifs. The most common colours are deep reds and blues, but a variety of ochre and sienna are also used. The border is nearly always made up of a number of narrow bands framing a wider band, which is often decorated with a motif resembling palm or pine leaves. The edging bands are often separated from each other by a narrow band of diagonal stripes.
Price Range and Value:
LOW TO MEDIUM
Old Ghashgais are considered by many to represent all that is good in nomadic weaving, and contemporary Ghashgai items, although rarely reaching the standards of their precursors, are among the most attractive and desirable nomadic carpets made today. The finest old Ghashgai are extremely valuable and the better contemporary items are almost certain to retain their value to a high degree. Ghashgais are by no means high quality carpets but in terms of price and value, they are unmatched. Beautiful mixtures of designs and colors have made Ghashgais a favorite of those who prefer nomadic and tribal carpets.
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