Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari
The provinces of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari are two different zones joined together. A district of this province named Bakhtiftri is situated between the Zagros Mountains stretching as far as Khuzestan. On the eastern part of the dividing line from Zagros towards Esfahan is Chahar Mahal.
The district of Bakhtiari and Chahar Mahal is the main centre and the summer quarters of the big Bakhtiari tribe. The route of their migration is around Shahr-e-Kord, which extends to the border of Nasjed-Soleyman and lzeh (in Khuzestan).
Carpets weaving in this area was first introduced not more than one hundred and eighty years ago.
It would be better to explain that the carpets known as Bakhtiari are not the production of the nomadic tribesmen. These are rather woven by craftsmen of the cities and villages the Armenians and nomads who have settled in the Chahar Mahal area.
The quality and the weaving technique of Bakhtiari rugs vary from locality to locality. The knots are Ghiordes and the weft can be single or double, depending on the place where it's produced.
These rugs are relatively coarse and durable. However, one can also find decorative and beautiful carpets with interesting and pleasant designs made of natural and brilliant colours, either those woven for Bakhtiari tribal chiefs or those which are produced under the patronage of the Iranian Carpet Company.
The dyers often prefer to use natural colours to dye the fibres of the carpet. Their preference for the background is mostly red, blue, green, golden yellow, turquoise, dark blue and brown.
Small rugs such as Zar-o-nim and Do-zar up to 12 square metres are produced in this province.
Amongst a large variety of Bakhtiari designs, the one in particular that dominates is the mosaic design or repeated panels. In this type of rug, the field appears with a regular quadrangular and hexagon network.
Each of these panels contain different motifs, woven separately, such as the weeping willow tree, cypress tree, vases full of flowers, a bird on a branch and the Botteh. In these panels, there is no similarity to each other neither design nor in colours.
Nowadays, in Ghom, Birjand and Tabriz, finer carpets are produced, imitating the original patterns of the Bakhtiari rugs.
Important centres for carpets weaving in Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari are Shahr-e-Kord (main centre of the province situated one hundred and seven kilometres South-west of Esfahan) and the surrounding villages, Chal-shotor, Saman, Shalamzar, the town of Borujen and the depending villages such as Boldaji, and Faradonbe. In these localities, in addition to the mosaic designs, rugs with Esfahan motifs are also woven.
Owlad, a tribe of the Lors, (South-west of the Bakhtiar district) weaves medium low-priced carpets in mosaic designs whereas another nomadic tribe of the Lors named Yalmeh produce medium fine rugs. The sizes are from the smallest (Poshti) up to eight square metres.
There is a great difference and a complete contrast in the geometrical designs with Bakhtiari patterns woven in Yalmeh. Their style is similar to that of the Ghasgha'i rugs. Yalmeh rugs are generally traded in the Esfahan and Shahreza markets. Occasionally they are classified as Shiraz rugs.