Gabbeh carpets are some of the most sought after handmade Persian rugs. Their exceptionally high quality and increasing rarity make them an extremely valuable and collectable item for the home. Gabbeh is the historic name to a specific type of coarse tribal weaving by an Iranian ethnic group. The word Gabbeh comes from the Persian language Farsi and means something raw or natural. This is a fitting name for the Gabbeh group of carpets because they are made entirely by hand with hand carded, hand spun wool and dyed using all natural vegetable based dyes.
Luri, also known as Loribaft or Luribaft rugs are among the finest of the Gabbeh family. They feature a fine weave which has a fairly short and extremely soft pile. The vegetable dyes paired with the tight weave and lanolin rich wool give the carpet a somewhat silky look to it, a unique sheen found only in authentic, premium quality Iranian Gabbehs.
Who are the weavers? One of the most fascinating and intriguing features of the Gabbeh is the story behind the weavers. Luri and other Gabbehs are primarily made by nomads in Southern Iran. Luri rugs are specifically name for the Luri tribe living in the Fars province. The carpets are knotted by the tribesmen who carry around large horizontal looms which can be assembled quickly and easily. The natural dyes are made from native plants and roots found in the Zagros mountain range using traditional recipes that have been developed over centuries. Larger sizes of these rugs are understandably more expensive because of the work involved carrying around large looms and the amount of dyes needed for the yarns.
You can tell a Luri rug apart from other Gabbehs by the designs. Unlike other Gabbehs, Luri carpets feature more sophisticated detailed design elements, incorporating intricate tribal and traditional motifs. The weavers begin with a general concept but are allowed to alter and embellish the design using their own creativity and patterns passed down from generation to generation through the ages. Each piece is not only a unique work of art but a story passed from one generation to another.
The Gabbeh rugs available at Tufenkian Outlet were hand selected by James Tufenkian who purchased them in Iran before the 2010 embargo. Inventory in the United States, everywhere not just at Tufenkian Outlet, is extremely limited and has been dwindling since the embargo. Therefore, once these rugs are gone, they’re gone!