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Persian Rugs: Guide to Karaja Rugs and Carpets

All during the 19th and into the 20th century there was pressure from Russia in first the Czarist era and on into the communist era. The Russians actually seized Tabriz and only left in 1945 when President Truman threatened an Atomic (not nuclear this was before the development of Nuclear bombs) strike on a Soviet city if the Russians did not pull their troops out of Tabriz. I believe that Karaja weavers were from further up in the Caucasus and moved south to avoid Christian or Communist rule.

Persian Rugs: Guide to Karaja Rugs and Carpets

Sarkis Kish Antique Karaja Rug

Karaja Rugs and Carpets

Also Karadja, Gharadjeh, Qaraajeh, Gharajeh

Karaja is a village in the northeast of the Heriz region not far from the Azerbaijan Border. Karaja rugs seem to fall into two distinctive groups. The first group Type A is as we see to the left is typified by a row or rows of medallions that while not unique are most often seen in Karaja rugs especially smaller sizes and runners. The Type B Karaja remind me of a a single wefted Heriz carpet. In older Type A Karaja rugs I expect red or blue fields drawing heavily on madder red dark indigo blue and white with lesser amounts of other colors. Type B Karaja rugs are usually in carpet sizes and frequently use a significant amount of light blue that is almost as light as a robin's egg blue.

Picture a single wefted Heriz

The Karaja weave is a Single weft similar to the "Sennah Baft" or Hamadan weave. Here the wefts are rigid and the warps are sinuous. In the sketch the wefts are heavier than the warps but in a Karaja rug the warps and wefts are more balanced. It is woven with symmetrical knots. Since there is only one shot of weft between each row of knots this shows every other warp which makes these rugs easy to spot. If it has the medallions of a Type A Karaja or appears to be a single wefted Heriz then think Karaja. If it does not then think Hamadan. It sounds simplistic but after you see a few it is not hard to tell them apart. Karaja wool is different and the rugs have a heavier handle.

To: OrientalRug@yahoogroups.com
From:  "R Hyde" rgwash@yahoo.com 
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2005 15:49:25 -0000
Subject: [OrientalRug] Re: Heriz/Serapi


Some old Karaja rugs (pre WW2) have higher than normal knot counts,
some even in room sizes that meet the description with warps usually
of cotton but the weft is cotton or wool some times both will be used
in the same rug. Normally one associates Karaja with sizes under 6 x 9
and runners of lower knot counts.


R Hyde

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