Mazandaran Kilim
8' 10" x 9' 2"
Circa 1920
North Persia
Ref no. 2720
Mazandaran  Kilim #1
Mazandaran Kilim
The Mazandaran kilims produced for local use in the Caspian region of Northwest Iran represent one of the most authentic traditions of Persian rug weaving, although their minimalist approach to design often appears strikingly modern in its graphic simplicity.

On this example the design consists entirely of horizontal stripes or bands in alternating light and dark tones. Each vertical column was woven separately, with the relative width of each band determined by spontaneous improvisation. The various columns were then sewn together and jogged to attain a staggered effect in the bands. As such no two of these kilims are the same. The modulations in the tonality of each band, with extensive variegation of color or ‘abrash,’ gives each piece a uniqueness all its own, with a distinctive visual texture that often involves an actual physical texture as well. Here the weave is extremely large with thick, nubby fibers, and the design is not produced by the horizontal wefts alone, as in standard kilim technique, but by the vertical warps as well which show up between the wefts as a sort of three-dimensional checker pattern.