The city of Tabriz is situated 600 km west of Teheran and one of the largest cities in Iran and also the capital in the province of Azerbajdzjan. The population comprising of the Azaris, who are the largest ethnic minority in Iran and speak the Turkish dialect. The city is old and has for centuries been a very important trading place and border station. Known attractions are the Blue Mosque and the giant bazaar.
The manufacturing of carpets today is extensive and the quality varies from excellent handicrafts to simple and cheap bazaar qualities. A good Tabriz has a short and rough pile. The patterns can consist of a centrally placed medallion surrounded by arabesques, weeping willows and cypresses. Another popular motif is the four seasons which describes the life of the Persian farmer during spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Ancient palaces and ruins are often seen on the carpets. On the corners it is sometimes possible to see the four great Persian poets: Sadi, Hafez, Ferdowsi and Omar Khayam.
The term Raj in connection with the name of Tabriz carpets refers to the number of knots in a 70 mm span range. The denomination 40 Raj refers to carpets with 400-500.000 knots/m2, 50 Raj to carpets with approximately 500-600.000 knots/m2, 60 Raj to carpets with 600-800.000 knots/m2 and 70 Raj to carpets with approximately 800-1.000.000 knots/m2. The last mentioned being extremely rare on today's market.
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