Travelling from their summer pastures in the Highland of Shiraz to the winter pastures in the Persian Gulf the nomadic Qashqai tribes herd their flocks while hand weaving their traditional rugs from vegetable dyed wool. The journey of 300 miles means many overnight stops and constant dismantling and assembly of the rug looms this results in vastly varying tensioning of the looms as they are packed then unpacked along the route. Looms require a constant tension to keep designs and edges straight, but keeping looms tensioned on such a journey is virtually impossible for the nomadic tribesman. The result is a rug that is irregular in shape.
Of course the Qashquai aren’t the only nomads of Iran, Bakthiyaris, Baluchs, Guilaks, Kurds and Lurs also roam the Iranian plateau and also produce their own individual style of Nomadic or Tribal Persian rugs. The traditional rugs are hand knotted using the Senneh knot as typical Persian rugs produced in cities but they virtually all have the common characteristic of irregular edges and patterns that twist and curve out of tune to their unbalanced edges. The rug experts never look at these traits as being substandard because they understand the complex nature of making a rug on the move. Instead they tend to look at the characteristics as a selling point a feature to behold.
Irregular features are common in all handknotted rugs whether they be Persian, Turkish, Afghan, Chinese, Indian or Pakistani, however the irregular features in a nomadic rug are almost certainly more pronounced. As we can recognise people from different cultures form their skin colour or facial features, we can more easily spot the characteristics of a nomadic hand knotted rug, simply because it doesn’t look manufactured. For that reason it is a one off and no matter how ugly the shape or even the design it is absolutely unique and therefore thing of natural beauty.