The Iranian Gabbeh carpets available at Tufenkian Outlet represent a unique stock of inventory. They represent a select group that was not actually produced by Tufenkian but instead personally purchased by James Tufenkian directly from Iran. Little warning was given before the 2010 embargo between the U.S. and Iran, however James made sure to hand select the highest quality Gabbehs to make sure these beautiful carpets would be available in the U.S. Inventory has been rapidly declining since the embargo and what is left in inventory, not just at Tufenkian Outlet but across the U.S., is the last remaining inventory until political tensions lesson.
Iranian Gabbehs come in a few categories mostly based on the region in which they were produced. We have already discussed at length the extraordinary beauty of the Luri Gabbeh and would like to focus our attention now on two other groups of Gabbehs, the Kashkuli and Amaleh.
Kashkuli carpets originated in Southwest Iran, where they are still woven today. Named after the Qashqai nomads who create these masterpieces, Kashkuli rugs feature high knot density, low pile, and plush lanolin-rich Persian wool. In contrast to their traditionally inspired Luri counterparts, Kashkuli designs tend to be more modern and playful in appearance, utilizing simple geometric shapes as well as rudimentary animal, plant and figure motifs. Often displayed are trees of life and abstract landscapes.
Handcrafted in Iran by weavers of the Ghashgai tribe, Amaleh rugs are beautiful carpets that are slightly less finely knotted than the Kashkuli and Luri Gabbehs. The patterns in Amaleh rugs often utilize simple designs and natural colors, perfect for adding into the home to add distinction without distraction.
Weavers of both the Kashkuli and Amaleh rugs are presented with a general design concept and then allowed to alter the design as they wish. Each rug is therefore completely unique and personal to the weavers who create them. The brilliant jewel tones of these carpets are provided by natural vegetable based dyes using ancient recipes for plants and other natural materials found in the region. The vegetable based dyes generally have more color variation which when coupled with the unique quality of the hand of the weaver make these rugs impossible to replicate. You can rest assured knowing that your carpet is truly one of a kind making it a perfect heirloom piece for your home.
The story of the Gabbeh has evolved over the centuries and political tensions along with rising cost of materials and production has led manufacturers to start to produce oriental rugs similar to Iranian Gabbeh in other countries. Tufenkian has also started to produce Gabbeh type rugs in Armenia which are called Horizon rugs. These rugs feature vibrant colors made with vegetable based dyes and hand-spun, hand knotted wool which gives it the same raw, extraordinary feel as the Gabbehs. The patterns of the Horizon rugs are crafted with the individual creativity of the weavers who use their own inspiration to alter and embellish a given design. Although Gabbeh rugs produced outside of Iran can be of superb quality, authentic Iranian Gabbehs have a silky sheen impossible to replicate.