Gabbeh rugs are hand woven by the nomadic Qashqai tribal people around Shiraz in the southern part of Iran. The Qashqai are nomads, and it is the herds of sheep and goats they keep that produce the excellent fibers used in the wool rugs they weave.
The word Gabbeh literally means unclipped and refers to the weave. Gabbeh rugs are usually flat woven from high quality local wool with loose piles. The rugs are very thick, soft, and are luxurious to the touch. The rugs can have up to 100 knots per square inch and the warps and wefts are both wool.
Each rug is a totally unique one of a kind work of art, no design is ever reused. The geometric patterns of the rugs feature very plain yet distinctive designs with one or two small figures. The patterns on the rugs are extremely simple and geometric. Birds and people may appear in some of the newer rugs. The designs on Gabbeh wool rugs are completely uncluttered with large fields, bold stripes and geometric human or animal shapes. The color palette is very harmonious in soft greens, light blue, and khaki but newer rugs may feature bolder shades of red, yellow and ivory.
These rugs are renowned for their superb quality of materials, craftsmanship and durability. Although look a like Gabbeh rugs are produced in Pakistan, India, China, and Turkey, the quality of a genuine rug cannot be duplicated.
The simplicity of design lends itself to a more modern and contemporary decor. Gabbeh rugs are a favorite among those with eclectic tastes and for those who believe that less is more. A Gabbeh persian rug may be telling a story, depicting a landscape or scene, or maybe even conveying an emotion and are often a favorite of many contemporary designers because of their beauty and simplicity.