Soumak Persian Rugs Properties:

Visibility:  SOUMAK is a comparatively rare type of KELIM (Kilim), deriving its name from the old town of SHEMAKJA (Republic of Azerbaijan). SOUMAK is NOT a KELIM. However, both have a flat-woven style. SOUMAK has embroidered and its embroidery threads are not cut off at the back. SOUMAK has a shaggy, erratic collection of loose ends or strands of wool. The wefts strands (serving a decorative role rather than the structural role of knotted carpets) are threaded through a number of warp strands and then looped back. All SOUMAK have the geometric pattern with many tribal motifs all around. Usually, the motifs are small birds. SOUMAK's are excellent with contemporary, traditional and modern decors.

Quality:  The quality of SOUMAK is excellent. SOUMAK is better known in western countries than IRAN. SOUMAKs are the proper choice for high traffic area. The ones have silk are an excellent choice as a decorative rug.

Size & Shapes:  The SOUMAKs have different size and the majority of them are the small size (2x3 feet) and mid-size (4x6 feet). It is hard to find SOUMAK in large size (8x10 feet).

Color:  dark red, pink, khaki, soft green, blue, dark green, light blue, ivory, brown, rust, and orange are the majority color texture.

Texture:  Soft wool, thin and in the case of silk ones have extremely smooth and shiny texture.

Foundation:  Warps are mostly wool or silk, wefts either cotton, wool or silk. The ends of the fibers are usually left loosely on the back.

Knots:  SOUMAK does NOT have any knots like other rugs and carpets. SOUMAK are flat-woven.

Price:  There are many different grades of SOUMAK made in this region, ranging from medium to fine. SOUMAK are very valuable especially ones with SILK. Expect to pay $3-$6 Per Square Feet (PSF) for nice SOUMAK made by SHAHSAVAN tribe from ARADABIL.


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Where Shahsavan Tribe live on IRAN?

Northwestern IRAN - Shahsavan Tribe

SHAHSAVAN tribe has long history in IRAN. SHAHSAVAN were brave warriors who protected Safavid Shah Abbas in his battles were renowned in history as the "Qezelbash".
In the Lunar Year 991 to 994 (1613 to 1616 A.D.), Shah Muhammad Khoda Banda decided to ask volunteer civilians into the army. This act was called "Shahsavan Oulmakh", meaning "becoming Shah lovers". SHAHSAVAN sub-tribes have 29,247 families, with a population amounting to around 174, 490 individuals. Its structure consists of Clans, Families, Gobeks and Khanevars.

More than hundred of thousand of SHAHSAVAN divided into several branches, are living in northeastern Province of ARADABIL. The majority of these people are either living in villages or the townships surrounding provincial capital city of ARDABIL, but they continue to follow their past nomadic customs. Over 5,000 SHAHSAVAN still lead a migratory or semi-migratory life in ARABIL Province

SHAHSAVAN speak Azari Turkish. The book called "Bostan ul-Siahe (The Garden of Travel)" says: "SHAHSAVAN is a tribe which flourished during the time of Shah Abbas. The reason for their prominence is that a group of ungrateful Qezelbash (red clothed) fighters deserted Shah Abbas and revolted".

The king said: SHAHSAVAN, whoever loves the king come and join me. Thus, each tribe that defeated the rebel Qezelbashes were called SHAHSAVAN or lovers of the king by Shah Abbas

The summer resort of the SHAHSAVAN tribe is the AHAR and MESHKIN elevations at the skirts of Mount SABALAN and their winter resort is the eastern MOGHAN Plain near ARAS River that is 150 km far from the summer resort.

The SHAHSAVAN summer and winter resorts are quite distinct. The tribes first move from the winter quarter to a temporary spring quarter and then to their summer quarter. Upon their return and before settling at winter quarters they stop at an autumnal stopping place which is close to winter quarter.

Their tents, named ALACHIGH, are hemispherical shaped. Another type of tents, called KOOMEH, is long and corridor-like. Both are made over a wooden framework and covered with felt. The ALACHIGH is more than three times the size of a KOOMEH. Each tent accommodates an extended family. The inside, where woman mostly work,is carefully organized. These tribes keep all their belongings here. Food sacks, fat preserved in goat skin, sour milk, cheese, butter, flour, wheat and wool sacks are placed at the side, with bedding, Kilims and Jâjims, mats and small mattresses for sitting in front of them.

There is an oven in the middle of the tent beside . CHESKO,a wooden peg fixed in the center of the tent to which the wooden wheel of the tent top. CHAMBAREH is joined with a rope to protect the tent against winds and storms.

If the son of the family gets married, a section of the tent is given to the newly-wed couple for as long as they can not afford a new tent.

The men have no distinguishing clothing. They wear coats and trousers and on a cap (Kepi). The women dress in various areas costumes. Their dresses resemble those of the Kurdish women of KERMANSHAH.

Their loose breeches (Shaliteh) are like those of the QASHQAI Tribe. They also put on men's waistcoats decorated with The territory of the SHAHSAVAN tribe is of special importance due to the abundance of its natural resources, and is one of the largest continuous areas suitable for animal husbandry and agriculture. These people also make handicrafts such as KELIM (Kilim), JAJIM , jol-e-asb (horse clothes) and khoorjins (carpet bags)

Shahsavan Tribe Iran
Shahsavan Tribe Iran
Shahsavan Woman Inside Tent Iran
Shahsavan Woman Inside Tent Iran