Contemporary rugs are known for their simplicity and soothing patterns. Beginning in the early twentieth century, consumer demands of the European market for Persian rugs resulted in simplifying their traditional busy, dense and very intricate patterns. Ziegler and Company, an Anglo-German producer and distributor of Persian rugs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century based in Manchester, established rug workshops in Tabriz and Arak, Iran.
This trend intensified more in the second half of the twentieth century and resulted in contemporary handmade Persian rugs with even much more simple or basic patterns and fewer coolers, often soothing and muted. Such rugs have proven popular, so contemporary rug production has increased significantly, offering a wide range of subtle colors and designs. After a while, however, the market for such contemporary rugs that lacked more complex color selections and patterns slowed; therefore, it should be mentioned that transitional rugs began to be produced. Transitional rugs are described as between traditional designs and contemporary: they often have less than ten colors and are less dense and busy than traditional rugs. The major contemporary rug weaving regions are in India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Turkey and Iran, and most transitional rugs are made in Pakistan, India and Iran.
Some contemporary rugs are made of a combination of wool and synthetic fibers, while some are entirely made of synthetic fibers. Transitional rugs are made of wool and silk, all wool, or a combination of wool and inlaid artificial silk. Persian Gabbeh contemporary rugs are handwoven with high quality wool and vegetable dye in Iran; India produces some high quality, contemporary and transitional, vegetable dyed Gabbeh rug designs as well.
Beautiful Rugs has a selection of contemporary and transitional rugs available. An example of contemporary rug is a handmade Persian Gabbeh wool rug (catalog number 5050) which has a uniform medium brown field whose design features eighteen small rectangles, created with a crenellated yellow outline, and all these small rectangles (seven set up along vertical edge and four on the horizontal ends of the rug) form another large rectangle within the rug field, dividing the rug into an area with a main border space. Each small rectangle has a yellow and/or dark brown outlined image of a traditional rug motif: a stylized tree of life, a stylized tulip flower, a simple pattern of eight rosettes, and a simple pattern of five or six diamonds. The traditional Persian handmade design pattern in this rug has been radically simplified and minimized into very basic line-like drawings.
Another example of a contemporary area rug (catalog number 7303) has an allover diamond lattice network with five rows of two different sizes of large stylized shah abbasi lotuses that are limited to two colors: bright yellow and light brown on a medium brown field. And two different type pattern and size lotuses alternate with one another in the lattice diamond rows. A very narrow border frames the entire rug. The traditional handmade Persian element in this rug (stylized lotuses) rather than appearing in striking bright colors on a darker field to catch the viewer’s attention, have has been significantly subdued in their color intensity and contrast to the rug’s field.
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