Saturday, July 19, 2008

Persian Gabbeh Rugs of Qashqai Tribe in the Atlanta Rug Show July 208

The July Atlanta Rug Show was held in Atlanta, Georgia from July 13 to 16, 2008. Oriental Rug Retailers of America in cooperation with the organizer of the rug show, the AmericasmArt, held a series of talks and seminars and also a rug appraisal exam.

I had an exclusive video presentation and talk on the Green Rugs, the ec0-friendly Gabbeh rugs made by the women of Qashqai tribe in south west Iran. Below, I mention what I talked about.

We at did a research to provide some literature for our readers,
visitors, and customers to provide them with some facts about our talented and artist
weavers who make our beautiful Qashqai Collection tribal rugs. It is almost certain
that the Turkish speaking groups which later formed the Qashqai Tribe migrated to
Fars region in south west Iran some 600 years ago. The appearance of the Qashqai
as a tribe happened in a later date at the end of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736)
around 300 years ago, and prior to that there never was such a tribe. The migration
of these groups did not happen at once. Several Turkish speaking clans and
sub-clans united under the leadership of "Johnnie Agha Qashqai ", and formed the
"Qashqai Tribe".

There are different theories about the origins of Qashqai's, none of which are
certain, but the most probable one is that they migrated from different regions from
the north and north west such as Turkmenistan, Caucasus, and Asia minor. This
can be backed by the fact that many of the Qashqai's today have light skin, blond
hair, and green/blue eyes. There are also some similarities between their dialects
and those of the Shahsavans of the East Azerbaijan. There are also some
similarities between the motives of their kilims and needle works. Qahqahi's have
mixed with other Turkish and non-Turkish speaking groups such as Kurds and Lurs.
There are also some elements of Turkmen, Caucasian, and Turkish rug weaving
traditions and motives in Qashqai rugs and kilims.

Qashqai tribe is consisted of six clans, such as Shesh Boluki, Large Kashkuli, Darreh Shoori, Amaleh, Farsi Madan, and small Kashkuli. Many of our weavers at are from the Kashkuli clan who are very knowledgeable and artist. Some groups of Qashqai's were forced to move to Khorasan region in the north east of Iran neighboring with Afghanistan. This was based on a decree issued by Nader Shah (ruled 1736-1747). During these twenty years or so, the Qashqai's were affected by the weaving tradition of the region in which they resided. Herati or mahi (fish) design found its way to Qashqai weaving and this was a side effect of this migration. Some other groups of Qashqai's went to Kerman at a later date and they also took some of the designs and motives from Kerman rug weaving traditions with them to Fars region.

Qashqai's migrate in the summer to the north to the Zagros mountain and in the winter to the south by the Persian Gulf in search of pasture for their cattle, mostly sheep and goats. The range of their migration is about 300 miles. They live in black tents (siah chador) made of goat hair which is greasy and serves almost as a waterproof material. These tents are easy to assemble and disassemble. The weavers also use horizontal looms which can be easily put on the horses when the summer or winter migration times come by.

Today, Qashqai ladies weave the most beautiful Gabbeh and tribal rugs of the world by handspun local wool dyed with natural dye. The rug weaving is completely done by women, and men only help with the wool sheering from the sheep and the dyeing process. The Qashqai children go to school while their mothers weave rugs. Although we provide the yarn and give instructions to our Qashqai weavers, but they are free to use their imagination and add the motives they like to the original design. This is what makes our Qashqai Collection different from city, workshop rugs. We, at usually use one design for one piece and one size, so all our Qashqai Collection rugs are unique and not duplicated. Each piece has its own specifications and is a piece of art.

Our designs are too many and can be classified into three main categories:

1- Traditional or classic
2- Contemporary or modern
3- Transitional or the ones which do not fit into traditional or contemporary categories.

Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Atlanta Rug Show

The AmericasMart, holds the Atlanta Rug Show which is the world’s largest single collection of fine handmade, machine-made and antique rugs. Contrary to its European counterpart DOMOTEX which holds a big rug show in Hannover in Germany, the Atlanta Rug show does not offer wall to wall carpeting, hardwood flooring, tile, and window covering and is entirely dedicated to Oriental and area (machine made) rug which makes it more specialized. Only dealers and the trade are allowed to visit the show which is held twice a year, in July and in January. To protect the members of the rug industry here in the US, the Atlanta Rug show does not allow exporters and producers from rug producing countries participate in the show to exhibit their products, while DOMOTEX welcomes this kind of participation and in its several big halls, you see all kinds of rug merchants from different rug and carpet producing countries.

The January rug show in Atlanta is more crowded than the July market and you see more foot traffic in it. The July market is more educational with many seminars and educational opportunities. The Oriental Rug Importers Association (ORIA) and the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA) are two specialized national organizations which partner with the AmericasMart to hold this wonderful rug show which provides excellent opportunities for all those who are involved in the rug industry to benefit from it.

Khosrow Sobhe

Retailer Of the Year Award in the Atlanta Rug Show

The Atlanta Rug show was held in Atlanta from July 13 to 16, 2008. I visited the show and had a lecture and video presentation there on the Green Rugs of the Qashqai tribe. I will write about his in a separate post. Here, I have a report on the Retailer Of the Year (ROY) Award:

The Nation’s Premier Area Rug, Furniture Retailers Honored at ROY Awards

The extraordinary achievement of the nation’s premier area rug and furniture retailers was honored during the July Atlanta International Area Rug Market®’s signature event—the Retailer of the Year (ROY) Awards—on Monday, July 14, at the Georgia Aquarium. Presented by AmericasMart and the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA), the ceremony recognized leaders making a significant impact on the entire industry. The ROY nominees were selected by AmericasMart area rug exhibitors and were voted on by an independent panel of industry experts.

More than 700 buyers and exhibitors filled the world’s largest aquarium’s majestic Oceans Ballroom to celebrate the winners. The evening’s festivities featured a lavish cocktail buffet by Wolfgang Puck catering and a Monte Carlo-themed casino evening. The winners of the July 2008 Rug Retailer of the Year Awards are as follows:

• Area Rug Specialist: Albed Rug Company, based in Wayne, Penn. Ray Albed, owner, accepted the award. The firm has been in business for more than 90 years and has transitioned from generation to generation. As a stellar community advocate, Albed Rug Company annually donates approximately 50 rugs per year to support local charities. They currently stock more than 6,000 new, used, semi-antique and antique rugs.

• Creative Selling: AJA Rugs, headquartered in La Jolla, Calif. Its presentation was the most outstanding one ever received by AmericasMart. In addition to its presentation, AJA Rugs was nominated by more AmericasMart exhibitors than ever before. A 3rd generation west coast company, AJA is the staple of the southern California design trade. They pride themselves on providing a welcoming environment while creating an enjoyable buying experience and have been voted the “Best” for nine straight years by the local ASID community.

• Furniture Store: HOM Furniture, established in Minneapolis, MN, in the early 70s. It has made radical changes since its conception as a gift Import business, which turned into a waterbed store five years later and soon evolved into Total Bedroom stores. From there it became Leather and Oak showrooms, and in 1996 these two entities merged into HOM Furniture. It now has 14 locations and has become one of the largest furniture businesses in country and is a dominant player in the Midwest. Its rug departments and galleries range in size from 3,000 to 17,000 square feet with more than 3,000 rugs.

• Flooring Store: The Carpet Shop, based in Augusta, Ga. Donna and Bill Farr and Dan Holloway accepted the award. It has four locations in two states and is currently celebrating its 50th year in business. The Carpet Shop is one of the first carpet specialty stores in the southeast and has grown to one of the top 100 in the nation.

• Outstanding Merchandising: Elte Carpets from Toronto, Ontario. The award was received by James Metrick and Abe Jerohmi. Elte Carpets was established in Europe in 1919 and has continued to be a family business since. Today, it is one of North America’s largest retail companies with a 200,000-square foot facility and is also known as Canada’s leading importer of home furnishings. In addition to mastering area rugs, Elte Carpets also stocks broadloom carpet, furniture, lighting, linens and accessories.

“The area rug industry is only as strong as the retailers that support it on a daily basis, and we are grateful that we are able to be surrounded by such established leaders,” says Chas Sydney, senior vice president of Area Rugs for AmericasMart. “The nominees and winners are exceptional players in our industry, and it is because of their dedication and commitment to customers and the industry as a whole that we are able to continuing thriving together. We commend and honor those that were part of our ceremony as they are the primary reason we are here today.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rug cartoon and the Design

We have few rug designs called cartoon in our rug gallery to show to our customers to see how Persian carpets are made. A designer draws the cartoon on a graph paper and then a painter paints and dyes the cartoon. Each little square of one by one millimeter stands for one knot. Weavers can only read this cartoon. Usually they cannot follow a rug picture and have to use this cartoon to make a rug.

In tribes and many rural places, weavers use the designs from the top of their head and in some cases they can use their imaginations to add or drop some of the elements and motives. Our Qashqai weavers are allowed to use their creativity and modify the designs of our Gabbeh rugs to some extent.

Khosrow Sobhe

Cutting a Rug and making it Fit in the Room

We received this rug from a customers who wanted us to cut it and make it fit in her room which was smaller than the rug. This is what we did.

Khosrow Sobhe

My First Rug Was a Persian Lilian Rug I bought 40 Years Ago!

This Persian Lilian rug was the first rug I bought for $15 about 40 years ago. I helped my father in his retail rug store in Tehran when I bought this rug. It is 2' 5" x 4' 7". A customer wanted to buy it for $500 last year in my rug gallery in Los Angeles. It is not for sale. My 21 year old son Ashkan will have this piece after me to pass on to his children. Ashkan helps me at my store whenever he has free time and has no school. He studies Information Technology and Information Sciences at the California State University Northridge here in Los Angeles. He is a third generation young man who loves and appreciates Persian carpets. Although Ashkan is very young, he is a dedicated and hardworking web developer and search Engine Optimization expert. He has his own company called Itchair. His company's website is

Khosrow Sobhe

Monday, July 7, 2008

Persian Rugs at North Pole

Iran to hoist flag at North Pole
Tehran Times Culture Desk

TEHRAN -- Iranian Hamid Jodeiri Khodashenas will be hoisting Iran’s three-colored flag at the North Pole for the first time.

“I will take a fistful of Iran’s soil, water of Mount Damavand, and a Persian carpet with me to the North Pole and will be performing several traditional Iranian ceremonies during my ten-hour stay,” Jodeiri told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.

Jodeiri who will be accompanied by filmmaker Sassan Tavakkoli Farsani added, “We will set off on July 19 heading to Finland. We will later board an icebreaker at Russia’s Port of Murmansk on July 20, and will arrive at the North Pole - also called roof of the earth - on July 26th.”

He went on to say, “On the way coming back, we will visit Franz-Joseph Land of the Arctic Ocean, Eskimos, polar bears and seals. We will also be observing a solar total eclipse at the North Pole on August first. Several astronomers, geologists and ornithologists will be on board and will also be giving lectures for all the passengers.”

Jodeiri also explained that he is planning to make several movies, take photos and give lectures and prepare daily reports.

Referring to his previous trips to the five continents, he explained, “This has helped me attend several international conferences in various countries.”

He established the Sayeh Research Center that carries out research on total solar eclipses. He is currently working on his largest project in which he follows the path of the eclipse that took place in Africa in 2001, and studies its effects on various species of animals on earth.

Jodeiri, who carries out his research from his own funds, complained that there is no governmental support for projects of this kind anywhere in the country.

Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kathy Ireland and Her Area Rugs in Los Angeles

Kathy Ireland area rugs are produced by Shaw Industries, a very famous manufacturer of machine made rugs. Kathy Ireland (born March 20, 1963) is an American super model, actress, author, and entrepreneur. Kathy Ireland is a wife, mother, Sunday school teacher, and Chief Designer and CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide (KIWW), whose mission is “… finding solutions for families, especially busy moms". Shee has recently entered the world of rugs and Shaw Industries makes beautiful area rugs in several different categories for her. We have some of her rugs and her collections in our rug gallery in Los Angeles.

Khosrow Sobhe

Rugs and Martha Stewart

Entrepreneur; television and magazine famous personality Martha Stewart has entered the world of rugs recently. Her new rug collections include luxurious silk and wool(Beautiful matte and sheen
textures which are etched into silk cut-pile and pure wool), hand-tufted beauty (Sprig design features branches budding with tiny leaves in a fresh and airy pattern) and softest cotton (A design inspired by the classic architectural detail of an antique). These beautiful collections are made in China and Tibet.

Other famous designers have also entered the world of rugs. I will write about them in separate posts.

Khosrow Sobhe