The art of rug-weaving is a cultural tradition in Iran, dating back to ancient Persia roughly the first century BC.   The unique designs and delicate harmonies of design and color are evidence of the rich tradition, and Persian rugs are prized for their technique as well. All of the Persian rugs at Michael Rugs are imported from Iran and are handmade.


Persian weavers developed their skill in early history, over 2000 years ago. The carpets found in their royal courts were famed throughout the region. Designers were inspired by local architecture, nature, geometrics, and intricate scrolls and paisleys, possibly developed by court artisans and bookmakers.

Designs and Motifs

In the City-made rugs designs are more intricate with more detail, and more of traditional. Cities have factories, not meaning machine-made, but large facilities with multiple weavers using common resources.   Tribal-made rugs have many regions and designs can vary with each region’s motifs, available colors and culture.

There are four types of design patterns: Concentric (Medallion), Allover, Directional, and Pictorial.

In the concentric design patterns, you may have a single medallion in the center, a medallion with a complementary design in the corners of the field, or a radial repeat. Allover designs repeat randomly, or scattered or within a compartment, like a square or diamond. Directional designs usually follow a bottom-to-top direction for the main elements of the design. Directional patterns include vase, altar, tree, altar-vase, and altar-tree designs. Pictorial patterns depict buildings, famous personalities, recreated paintings or the telling of a story.

Primary common Persian motifs are the Boteh, which is called paisley in English, and is based on natural elements; and the Shah Abbasi, or Khatai flower motifs which are constructed using multiple closed curves to produce palmettes, rosettes, blossoms, leaves and composite florals. Additional motifs are bouquets, vases, various birds, animals, trees, and landscapes.

Choosing a Persian Rug

If you are considering a Persian rug, you are considering one of the oldest rug-making traditions that have been the inspiration for other rug regions.   The tradition and mastery uses inspiration from nature, romance, and some spirituality. The quality and range of design are key components in the aesthetic of owning your own Persian Rug.

For more information, please visit our page on Oriental Rug Basics