Carpet-weaving is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia. In 2008, Iran’s exports of hand-woven carpets was $420 million or 30% of the world’s market.
THE PERSIAN CARPETS
There is an estimated population of 1.2 million weavers in Iran producing carpets fordomestic markets and international export.Iran exports carpets to more than 100 countries, as hand-woven rugs are one of its main non-oil export items. The country produces about five million square meters of carpets annually—80 percent of which are sold in international markets.In recent times Iranian carpets have come under fierce competition from other countries producing reproductions of the original Iranian designs as well as cheaper substitutes. The designs of Iranian carpets are copied by weavers from other countries as well. Iran is also the world’s largest producer and exporter of handmade carpets, producing three quarters of the world’s total output. Though in recent times, this ancient tradition has come under stiff competition from machine-made products.Iran is also the maker of the largest handmade carpet in history, measuring 60,546 square feet (5,624.9 square meters). Persian carpets can be divided into three groups; Farsh / ‘Q?lii’ (sized anything greater than 6×4 feet), Q?licheh (meaning rug, sized 6×4 feet and smaller), and nomadic carpets known as Gelim (گليم) Kilim, (including Zilu, meaning rough carpet)