Gabbeh tribal rugs were first made many centuries ago in the Zagros mountain range of modern day Iran. The word ‘Gabbeh’ comes from the Farsi word meaning “in the rough”. This comes from the rugs’ coarsely woven nature that have made them one of the most popular of Persian Rugs in the world. In fact, Gabbeh rugs are uniquely distinct from other designs and rug constructions in the region and also globally.
The main characteristic is their very thick pile which is woven in a low knot density. Most designs are geometric and convey a wide range of themes and meanings. Some tell stories, others emotions, more still are purely depicting a beautiful landscape. However, the most common reason for the making of a Gabbeh Rug is to tell a tale, the weaver’s tale. This means each rug is unique and subjective in meaning.
The majority of weavers in the past were women and the rugs were created for family use. One can see in many of the designs, a definite female quality and outlook on the world. From a sociological standpoint, this offers a fascinating insight into the life and work of tribal Persian women through the centuries.
You can see a selection of Gabbeh tribal rugs as well as purchase the one pictured above, from here: Persian Hand Knotted Wool Gabbeh Rug