Journey with Pfister through Iran Gabbeh carpets

At the end of October 2016, our buyers were on a shopping roundtrip in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. In all three countries, a lot of work is being dedicated to the development of new products and the further development of the existing qualities of oriental carpets.

The shopping trip in Iran first led our buyers to Shiraz in the South. The goal was Gabbeh carpets, which are very well known in the Fars region.

First, a visit was made to experience the dyeing. Here, the high-quality, hand-spun wool from the highlands of the Zagros Mountains, as well as Kurdish wool from the north-west of Iran, is dyed with natural dyes. The dyeing process takes up to 7 days. During this time, the dye is repeatedly controlled by the dye master until the desired colour intensity is achieved.


Nomad storage south of Shiraz


The dark brown tent consists of goat hair, which through its natural features provides good protection from wet weather and the cold. The knotting work on the Gabbehs is done further south by wandering Nomads and half-Nomads in the home of the Gashghai, Luren and Khamseh Nomad tribes. The carpets are still knotted traditionally on a horizontal knotting-chair. During the knotting work the women that perform it sit on the already finished carpet.

Gashghai Nomadin in a festive dress on a horizontal knotting-chair


In contrast to fabric rugs, on which the warp and the weft are mostly made of cotton, the warp and also the weft on the Gabbeh carpets are made of wool.

Children enjoying a day of school


The finished knotted carpets are then sent to Tehran, where they are washed and refined.

Carpets from Shiraz unloaded for cleaning in Tehran


In the carpet laundry in Tehran


The carpets are washed with plenty of water. Dye residues, loose wool as well as dirt from the transportation will be cleaned off them.

The owner of the laundry shop is proudly posing


The carpets dry naturally in the sun


After the carpets have been washed they are dried in the sun and measured.

Measuring the knot density


The owner of the company Oteis, Edris Mirzai, counts the knots in a Gabbeh Baseri carpet. The Gabbeh carpets range from 60,000 to 240,000 knots per square meter. The finest quality is the Gabbeh Baseri with about 210'000 to 240'000 knots per square meter.

The carpets as they are cut


Chief "cutter" at the company F + H Farhadian in Karaj Iran. The knotted carpets are cut to the desired pile height after washing. The pile is shortened up to 2/3.

Karaj/Teheran, Iran: Finishing up at a Gabbeh Baseri



The work requires high precision because there is no safety on the cutting-knife (rotating blade). If too much pressure is applied, the work from several months back can be destroyed!

Teheran, Iran: Finishing up at a Gabbeh Baseri



After the finishing work is done, the carpets are displayed in the carpet bazar in Tehran. Here, the Oriental carpets Pfister has preselected are sought out.


Each individual carpet is inspected before the carpets are purchased for Pfister. The quality of the wool, the knot work and the colour is checked thoroughly. Only when each step of the process (selection of the wool, spinning, dyeing, knotting, washing, finishing up) has been performed with care, will our buyers decide for a carpet and it will be ready for you in one of our stores or online.


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