Iranian (Persian) Rug Making Regions

Afshar, Ahar, Anjelas, Aran, Ardabil, Ardekan, Assadabad, Bakhshayesh

Oriental rugs are often known by the regions they were woven in. Collectors of Persian rugs often research each region thoroughly to understand not only the rug weaving techniques but also the designs and traditions employed in each region. These traditions often date back hundreds of years and are woven into the culture of each region. This richness impresses even more beauty on the Persian rugs that are available for sale around the world. Learn below about the different regions and click on the photos above to see samples of the different patterns.

Iranian (Persian) rug making region(s) included on this page:


Afshar tribes were originally Turkic people who used to be in northwestern Iran before some of them were forced to move as far south as Kerman and as east as Khorasan. Afshars have mostly geometric designs – partly the persistent influence of the Caucasian designs. Only smaller rugs are typically woven with a shrimp-coral color weft. Some rugs are wider (like a square shape) than other traditional rug weaving areas. Rugs from this area may be woven using a Turkish or Persian knot.


Ahar is located north of the city of Heris in northwestern Iran. Rugs woven with a Heris weave are typically of higher quality. Ahar designs are similar to Heris rugs, however, with less geometric edges.


Anjelas is south of the city of Hamadan which make some fine-quality rugs. A typical design is the Herati (fish) design.


Aran is among the weaving areas surrounding the city of Kashan. The weave is typically coarser than Kashans and lacks the uniformity of knots from the back.


Ardabil is a city in the northwest of Iran and east of the Azarbaijan province. They have similar designs to Caucasian and Tabriz rugs including geometric borders and medallions with vivid colors.


Ardekan is the second largest city in the Yazd province. It is 40 miles from the city of Yazd. The rugs woven in Ardekan typically have designs similar to Kashans.


Assadabad is located in the Hamadan province. A typical design is the Herati (fish) with a coarser weave.


Bakhshayesh is in the Azarbaijan province in northwestern Iran. It uses similar designs as Heris, typically a coarser weave and are shaped like a square. Goravan, Bakhshayesh, Heris, Serapi, and Mehraban (Mehravan) have the same type of weave. Two identical pieces of weft strings are used each row. One row runs both strings on top of each other as one straight weft. The next row uses one string as the straight weft and the second string as the alternate sinuous “second” weft and so on throughout the rug.

If you are curious to learn more, my eBook The Art of Oriental Rugs - A Weaver's Perspective shows you: 1) how to identify a weave** and how different techniques produce “recognizable” variations in different regions, 2) maps with geographical views of where rugs are woven in the country of Iran and how the regional weaves influence each other, and 3) 750+ close-up pictures of weaves from 170+ rug-weaving regions in Iran and around the globe. I’ve written a book I wish I had when I first started in the rug business. This, I humbly hope, will be seen as an indispensable addition to any library.

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