Antique Persian Carpet - Credit: Rugfirm
Carpet-weaving existed in Persia (modern-day Iran
) since around 500 BC and remains an important part of art and culture – around 1.2 million carpet weavers work in Iran today. Persian carpets
have long been collectors’ items and are regarded as amongst, if not the, world’s best. They are traditionally hand-woven on a loom, and usually made from wool dyed bright colours. There are thousands of different motifs and layout designs; common patterns include religious motifs, paisley, flowers, fish, stripes, trees, hunting scenes and geometric shapes. The Pazyryk Carpet
, found in Siberia
in 1949, dates from the 5th century BC and is the world's oldest surviving carpet.