Gabbeh are tribal rugs crafted by the nomadic Kurdish, Luri and Qashqai people of the Zagros Mountains in Iran. The word Gabbeh translates from Farsi meaning raw, uncut, or natural. These rugs are a byproduct of a pastoral lifestyle, produced using wool from their sheep herd and dyes from native plants.
The weavers are often seen spinning the long-fibered wool by hand while the men tend to their livestock. The vegetal dyes are extracted from the indigenous plants and roots of the region, prepared using traditional recipes developed over generations. The weaver’s spirit is apparent in these personal interpretations of their life, featuring illustrations of their surroundings including animals, plants and landscapes.
Originally created solely for personal use, the thick pile of Gabbeh rugs makes them ideal for life in mountainous regions. Gabbeh are usually woven on horizontal looms, which can be easily assembled and disassembled quickly — a necessity for these nomadic people of Iran.
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Gabbeh was established by third-generation Persian rug dealer Kasra Massarat in 1978. When the borders of his native country Iran opened in the 1980s, Kasra was able to travel to Iran several times each year to purchase directly from a number of tribes and traders.
Following the growth in popularity of Gabbeh rugs, Kasra founded Gabbeh.com with his business partner Tomas Almazan. Today the largest collection of authentic Persian Gabbeh reside here at Asian Trade Rug Company. Currently, a trade embargo exists on Iranian goods making Gabbeh rugs harder to find stateside.
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