My name is Kayvon Sadrabadi, and I live in the beautiful city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m originally from Iran and came to the United States about 40 years ago. I know both cultures well, and, like a parent who loves both their children equally, I love both cultures! I’ve been working with rugs for over 35 years; from buying, selling, cleaning and restoring.
My first exposure to weaving was as a child playing around with my cousins at my aunt’s house in Yazd, Iran. I fell in love with the art form and what it represented about the people and culture of Iran while I was working at a rug store during college. After 11 years, I changed careers to the corporate world by means of my formal education. The next 20 years I continued to stay engaged with rugs by doing restorations, research, reading and staying curious. It’s a wonderful time to be a curious person when there’s a world of knowledge on the internet.
I’ve been blessed with access to many generous experts along the way and have learned much from each one. I wrestled with the question of whether there was anything I could do to help educate and spark an interest in a new generation of rug enthusiasts.
Many wonderful books have expanded our knowledge of rugs by focusing on origins, designs, colors and history. In reality, experts identify rugs by the weave of a rug which can be identified from the back. “Weave” refers to the formation of knots viewed from the back of the rug. It has no relation to the design and/or colors. Each region has its own signature weave which persists and is passed on from one generation to the next.
Although a challenging concept to explain, I felt confident that a closer examination into the artform could be beneficial and hopefully add to the body of knowledge all while attracting a new generation of rug enthusiasts. Frankly, it also satisfied my own curiosity on questions I had over the years, like asking “Why does it look like that?”
I’ve dedicated the past three years creating this work to hopefully demystify this art form and, through a better understanding, spark an interest for the next generation.
To learn is to understand, to understand is to appreciate, preserving a tradition through education.
*Historically, Persia was the common name used by western countries for Iran (pronounced e-ron) until 1935 when the country was officially named Iran. The words Iranian and/or Persian represent the same proud nation and people.
**Weave refers to the unique pattern of knot formations on the back of rugs.
***bofandeh means “weaver” in Farsi (Persian) which is the language of Iran.