A Kurdish rug is more than just a piece of furniture, it's a philosophy

12/8/2022 11:56:26 AM
 Kurdish Bijar rug.
 photo: KurdSat English
 Himdad Mustafa
The Bijar rug is a hand-woven Kurdish rug woven by Kurdish weavers in Bijar, Iranian Kurdistan. Bijar rugs are renowned for their durability, brilliant use of color, abundance of designs, and unique construction.

It often results in a rug with deeply saturated jewel tones and creative and captivating designs. Kurdish Bijar rug designs usually showcase a traditional flower garden design.

Bijar could be a variation of Bajar, or Bazher, Kurdish for city. Among other suggested meanings for bijar are bid-zar, land of willow tree.

Bidjar pieces typically utilize a central medallion detailed by flowers, birds, or caterpillars, with arrowed or stylized ends on the central motif. Bijar rugs are often called the "Iron Rugs of Iran" for their thickness and durability.

In this carpet, the ornate medallion incorporates intricate flower and vine motifs detailed in cream, red, pink, brown, and green wool. Blue, orange, and cream vases detail the field within the central medallion.

Some unique features and symbolism make this piece of extraordinary

Traditionally, the foreground of this carpet would be blue, representing the water pond inside the flower garden. In this carpet, the weaver chose to utilize red, which in Kurdish textiles represents love.

In the four corners of the field, fish in cream and green cleverly disguise themselves as long-leaf designs. Fish, in Kurdish rugs, symbolize life and water and the transcendence between life in different landscapes. The green fern shapes on either side of the medallion are peacocks with their tails aligned symmetrically to blend into the garden design.

Kurdish sects consider these peacocks sacred, symbolize divine protection, and add tranquility to the carpet's design. Incorporating these motifs within the additional design elements replicates the attempts of animals to camouflage themselves into their surroundings.

It is difficult to find a Kurdish household without rugs in every room. Traditionally they were considered a sign of wealth and well-being and now serve as an obvious sign to decorate one's floor.

The main drive for rug prevalence is the Kurdish home architecture. Kurdish houses are not elevated off the ground, absorbing most of the heat and cold emitted from the ground, and that is when the rugs come in, serving as a non-conductor between the inhabitants and the floor, especially in the winter, as rugs help them to avoid the cold. 

Although there is a large market for rugs and carpets in the Kurdistan region, its domestic production has almost become obsolete, as imports from Iran and other supplies make its domestic variants uncompetitive.

A Bijar rug with detailed decorations 

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