David R E Hunt
Antiques, Collectibles and Curiosities                                          Washington DC Photos
Kurdish Village Rug of the
Karaja Region
Size- 55" X 40"

Warp-white cotton

Weft- single blue cotton

Knot- h.10, v.11 = 66 symmetric kpsi

End- cotton warps plaited, ends left as fringe

Side - cotton three cord selvedge wrapped with black goat hair

Colors - 10                Corrosive black

Three reds                  Ivory

Two blues                 Peach

Two greens

Worn in the center,but a lot of robust pile survives on the ends and sides. I read that Heriz,to which Karaja is adjacent, is noted for it's natural madder based dyes. While the drawing in this rug is almost child like, especially in comparison to the appearence of more sophisticated examples, I like the colors,and these are what compelled me to buy. Could these colors be natural?

I gave this rug a deep clean bath in the tub,changed the water 4-5 times, and while the water may at the beginning have looked as if this rug had never been washed I didn't notice the least tinge of dye run. To my surprise...

I realize that especially old examples of these Karaja rugs
are to be found with wollen warps, yet cotton has been in use for some time. It has been suggested that this rug dates from sometime between the two wars  (WWI/WWII).

I imagine that the Karaja producing villages of Iran are, just as with Hamadan the origin of a mountain of decorative or lesser grade rugs. But I like this one.

Granted, it's not going to make it into The Textile Museum or The Met as an example of high textile art, but it has this chunky, funky boldness of color and simplicity of design that I find attractive.

The wear has had the effect of accentuating the textures imparted by the corrosive blacks,and the colors are what they are, especially in the floral border with it's deep rich blue ground. Jewel like in the wool, not so much in my photos. And this central medallion approaches pop art.

Some have suggested that Karaja rugs can be classed in
accordance to their village of origin within the Karaja region.

It has been suggested that the Karaja of the  "classic"style of foliate border proceed from near Heriz. They are also reputed to be made by Kurds..

I conducted a survey of images, of about 20 examples, and found
this rug outside the standard Karaja weaving.

While the green "water tank" element is near the drawing found
in most of these "classic" Karaja, little else reminds of these rugs.