Mazandaran Kilim
5' 10" x 6' 4"
Circa 1940
North Persia
Ref no. 435
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.

In this case 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 alike, despite the fact they tend to use the same design principle. 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. This example utilizes an unusually bold set of contrasts between distinctly light and dark areas, with additional graphic emphasis achieved by narrow stripes reinforcing the wider bands.