Isfahan Rug

Isfahan Rugs of the 20 century

There are Isfahans, and there are Isfahans and there are Isfahans by master weavers. After a lapse of more than 200 years, rug weaving in the Persian city of Isfahan was revived in the early 20th century by the master artisan Ahmad. Production of fine rugs grew steadily and several workshops took to signing their products to indicate quality. The best known is the Sarafian shop, active beginning in the  forties-fifties and still productive now. The rugs (and a few carpets) are made from the best locally sourced wool and are very finely knotted with short piles. Knot counts range from 500 to over 1000 knots per square inch. The warps are silk and there is an inscription cartouche at one end with Sarafian in Persian script and often in English as well. The wide flat woven ends and divided by subtle threads slightly under 4 inches or 100 knots apart. The rugs of other Isfahan shops often do not have this Sarafian feature.
Another modern weaver was Hekmatnejad. Like Serafian. His shop specialized in smaller pieces in medallion design with silk warp and signature cartouches at one end. Among other shops was that operated by the master  weaver Mamouri.
Modern Tabriz carpets use a similar feature with sixty or 70 knots per ten horizontal centimeter, but designs and wool qualities are totally different and there is no confusion of the two types upon close comparison.