Joel Greifinger
October 29th, 2014 11:29 PM

Kilims that somebody calls Khamseh

One can only occasionally find kilims attributed to Khamseh in the market.
Hi Pat,

"Only occasionally" may be a bit on the 'glass half full' side.

Here are some, all of which were sold by the same dealer as Basseri. At least I think they were sold, since I can no longer find them in his inventory.
In any case, I think that given their scarcity, Khamseh-attributed kilims that could-possibly-still-be-on-the-market-but probably-not should be acomodated under our careful Turkotek boilerplate guidelines.

The criteria the dealer used to attribute these as Basseri are unknown to me though he implied that they were sourced from an area where the Basseri dwell.

Joel Greifinger

Patrick Weiler
October 30th, 2014 02:15 AM

Qashqai Kilims maybe not?

One thing I have found over the years is that the "Qashqai Frieze" is done in dark blue and white on Qashqai rugs, but often in red/green or yellow/blue and other different color combinations on Khamseh pieces. Other features indicating a non-Qashqai source are the fineness of the weave, shape such as several you show which are more squarish than long, different end finishes besides the "Frieze", and darker warps.
Here are some "on the market" with these differences, but which are called Qashqai. And I think the reasons are because the Qashqai name lends a bit of prestige to a piece and because that is what they were called by the dealers in the old days. Remember that Hull and Wyhowska said the pickers wouldn't say where they got these things and no inquiries were done back in the early 1970's when westerners started buying them.
This first one was sold at the Hazara auction recently. It has a darker appearance, different end design and dark warps:

The next one has the same appearance as the one Tanavoli shows in his Persian Flatweaves book, and also darker warps and the "Frieze" in both blue/white and red/blue:

Another, which I might consider Luri if it is dovetailed, or Khamseh if it is slitweave. It is a bit more square, has dark warps and the multiple color end "frieze" treatment.

I may be rowing upstream with this salon topic, but there was a day when Shahsavan material was all called Caucasian, too. And even Middle Amu Darya is becoming acceptable for some of what used to be called Ersari.

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
October 31st, 2014 09:21 PM

Kilims someone called Bakhtiari
Going into the wayback machine, I plucked a couple of pieces from the discussion in salon 27 on flatweaves. This one looks quite Khamseh to me now. Although the warps are light colored, the designs and the construction would have been double-interlocked if Bakhtiari.

And this little piece illustrates a couple of the reasons for suspecting some pieces are actually Khamseh than something else. This was called Afshar by the dealer, but I think we persuaded Jim Miller it was Khamseh:

Here's the back, in what looks like dovetailed warp construction.

In a discussion on Turkotek (http://www.turkotek.com/misc_00048/zahirpour.htm) John Howe made this comment about Edwards take on Fars region weaving:
"Edwards ends saying that the Khamsehs and the “Persian villages” weave 85% of the rugs woven in Fars and that the Shiraz merchants do not have a good opinion of “Luri” weaving."
My take on this statement is that Shiraz merchants just didn't like Lurs. They were quite discriminated against. If 85% of the rugs coming into the Shiraz market were Khamseh and Persian village pieces, a lot of what got called Qashqai and Afshar may well have been Khamseh and Luri.

Now, back to the wayback machine to see what else I can find.

From MSB1959's blog
Patrick Weiler

Joel Greifinger
October 31st, 2014 10:20 PM


This one looks quite Khamseh to me now. Although the warps are light colored, the designs and the construction would have been double-interlocked if Bakhtiari.

Now you've got me even more confused than usual.

Looking back at your flatweave salon (Mini-Salon #27), it looks like the conclusion was that the kilim you posted (in post #3) that appears Bakhtiari (posted in the earlier salon by Chuck Wagner) is interlocked, but that a presumptively Bakhtiari kilim I had posted is most probably dovetailed.

This is the close-up of Chuck's:

And here's mine:

with some close-ups of the weave:

Get any Khamseh vibe off of this one? 


Patrick Weiler
November 1st, 2014 12:18 AM

Khonfused are you?

Your kilim is very nice. When I did a salon on Luri weavings I would have wanted to call it Luri. But this is a salon on Khamseh so, sure, it could be Khamseh! But probably not Qashqai or Bakhtiari.
There are four construction techniques at work here, which may be causing some of the khonfusion.

Slit tapestry is mostly what Qashqai use.

Double-interlocked is what Bakhtiari use and it is quite easily distinguised from the rear. One warp color comes to the next color section and slips through the loops of two adjacent wefts, then turns back again.

Dovetailed would be more likely used by Khamseh and Luri weavers. Each color weft goes over the top of and around a warp thread, then back. The weft from the adjacent color goes over and around that same warp thread and heads back the other direction, defining what is also called shared-warp tapestry. The transition between colors occurs on a warp, so the appearance is one of both colors transitioning right on top of the warp. Zooming in on the closeup of your piece it looks like all the action is taking place directly on top of the warps, leading me to believe it is dovetailed.

Single-interlocked is very rarely found, partly because it is rarely used, but also because no one is looking for it. And it's appearance is similar to dovetailing, not to mention that it is quite difficult to discern visually without teasing apart the fabric. And you know fabrics don't like being teased.

Single interlocking wefts come to the end of a color section by going over the top of a warp, then slipping through the loop from a weft of the next color section and heading back the way they came. They don't go over the top of a warp and then go back; they interlock with the adjacent color weft in between two warp threads, so they appear to transition in between warps, not on the hump of a warp.
One problem is that a single-interlocked tapestry may also use dovetailing and/or slit-weave.
This appears to be the case with Chuck's piece. It looks like one place with slit-weave, just below and to the right of the green cross, where the red and blue meet. It could just be a shadow, though. There seems to be dovetailing, which is where two colors exchange on top of warps. But there are places where the transition seems to be between warps. We need to get that thing into an operating room and do some surgery on it.

Patrick Weiler

Jim Miller
November 1st, 2014 04:09 PM

Nice to see your remember my bag. You are correct the flat weave back is dovetailed. So I am absolutely convinced, it is probably, without a doubt, khamseh .

Patrick Weiler
November 17th, 2014 02:11 AM

Kilims that somebody DOESN'T call Khamseh, but may be
Back to the original topic of Khamseh kilims, there just aren't a lot with the Khamseh label. One possible differentiating feature which I have suggested is color. The Qashqai were the most prolific kilim weavers in the area, with the Luri also. But some kilims called Qashqai could probably be more likely Khamseh, like this one on Rugrabbit:

It just has too many non-Qashqai features. First, it is smaller at around 5'2" x 2'9". Second, it has that darker coloration and colors of Khamseh work. Third, the frieze is red/blue and brown/blue instead of the Qashqai white/blue. It also has darker warps and the construction, though mostly slit-weave like Qashqai, is not as crisply done, with oddities abounding and the "drawing" is crude.
Now, if someone described me that way, well

Patrick Weiler

Joel Greifinger
November 17th, 2014 06:34 AM

When's a gelim not a gelim?...When it's a palas
As Patrick mentioned in the Salon, there is a type of large flatweave that is straightforwardly attributed to Khamseh weavers that is called a shiraki or shiraki-pich. This is what Tanavoli has to say about them in Persian Flatweaves:

"Shiraki is neither a place nor a tribal name. It applies to a category of palases produced west of Kerman which share a great many features and are the work of different tribes. Apart from the people of western Kerman, these shirakis are made by the Khamseh, who include Turkish, Lor and Arab tribes. The home of these people is the eastern part of Fars, between Abadeh and Darab, but some of them travel as far as western Kerman and Minab.

The format of the shirakis is alike. Most of them have dimensions of 2.1m x 1.6m (6'8" x 5'6") or slightly larger. They are woven in two pieces sewn together at the centre, although sometimes they are in one piece.
The pattern design in all of them is provided by tiny repeating motifs and all have multiple borders.
All shirakis are of the all-palas variety, patterned by weft-float brocading."

This is the one Tanavoli includes that is specifically attributed as Arab Khamseh:

and this was sold at auction as Khamseh, as well:


Lloyd Kannenberg
November 17th, 2014 06:06 PM

Hi All,

Joel’s second image looks very much like a pair of panels sold to me as Shahsavan, but that I had supposed (on very little evidence) originated in Nakhichevan/Zangezur. Here is an image of one of them:

and a detail of one corner:

Each panel is 80 x 165 cm, or together about 5’3” square. The technique is clearly brocading, but whether it is over-and-under or reciprocal brocading I leave to my betters to decide.

Are these panels Khamseh work in fact? I would be very interested in the judgment of the experts in this thread!

Lloyd Kannenberg

Patrick Weiler
November 18th, 2014 12:27 AM

Looks like a duck

The size, colors and two-piece configuration certainly all seem to point towards a shiraki-pich weaving. Even the field/border arrangement is similar to the two posted by Joel. The term used by Tanavoli, weft-float brocading, is a misnomer. It should properly be described as brocade, per Woven Structures. None of the pictures is close enough to determine the construction, though.
A piece which I bought as Shahsavan is also brocaded, on a white ground, as these shiraki-pich's are.
I have sent a couple of photos back to the Turkotek nerve center in Virginia for computation in their contraption.

I hope to receive results to post here soon!

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
November 18th, 2014 12:50 AM

Shiraz kilim
Here is a 1920 kilim said to be Shiraz with Qashqai design from Jozan.net.

The ends are not Qashqai-like, nor the designs in the field. The warps are brown, not white. The major border is similar to one in Bakhtiari weavings, but this piece does not look Bakhtiari or Luri. It may be an Arab-Khamseh product.
Another similar Jozan piece looks a lot like the Basseri pieces Joel posted in the first post in this thread.

These weavings do not appear 19th century, but more like 2nd quarter 20th century or younger. By that time many of the formerly nomadic tribes had been settled. But there were still nomads. Here is a Qashqai woman weaving a similar-looking kilim with the same border as the first kilim above.

It may well be that the styles were being copied by many weavers in the region.

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
November 18th, 2014 02:47 AM

Wacky Shiraki?

Here is the bag I mentioned earlier. It was described as Shahsavan on ebay and it looked smaller than it actually is, 16"x53" (40x135cm) so the brocading is "bigger" looking than the pictures showed. From the photos I assumed it was soumak.

I thought it looked like Kordi work, from northeast Iran, but I am not sure if Kordi weavers used brocade. Another piece I found on line labeled Shahsavan, though, has nearly identical brocading on a slit-weave panel.

The similarity of that piece to mine is almost too great to dismiss.
So it is back to Shahsavan-land for now. But your piece seems to have a similar brocade design also, although the photographs aren't clear enough to make an adequate comparison.
This close up shows a few of the original closure cords. Some later additions include the garish orange one seen in the top picture, and some later white cotton cords. The dyes look good and even the pink is not faded front to back.

It would be nice to have some better pictures of the shiraki-pich pieces to confirm if they are brocaded. And a Khamseh origin isn't entirely out of the question for my bag.

Patrick Weiler

Joel Greifinger
November 19th, 2014 05:30 AM

How far is it from SE Fars to Nakhichevan?
Hi Lloyd,

Before my own, personal shiraki consciousness-raising (about 72 hours ago ) my supposition about your piece would have been, like yours, the Nakhichevan/Zangezur area.
Most of the wool on cotton brocaded pieces from the area that I know of are mafrashes. The borders, particularly, show a striking similarity. This one's from Nooter:

this from Azadi:

and this residing somewhere in a storage bin either in a closet or under a bed:

There are, however, brocaded pieces from the same region that are sometimes made in two parts that are about the same size as shiraki, such as this:

Unsurprisingly, the matter is once again more complicated.


Joel Greifinger
November 20th, 2014 04:12 AM

These are two of the flatwoven items that were sold at the Rippon-Boswell auction in March, 2011 that was devoted to the Kossow collection.
The first is a chanteh that was attributed to the Bassiri tribe. It shows clear similarities in design and techniques with a khorjin that was also published as Baseri, pl. 91a in From the Bosporus to Samarkand:

This kilim was listed by R-B as Luri with, however, this proviso, "Parham attributes a similar kilim to the Nafar, a Turkic tribal group that belonged to the Khamseh federation".

Here's a citation for the Nafar kilim:
Parham, Cyrus, Masterpieces of Fars Rugs. Tehran 1996, no. 98

If anyone has a copy of the book to scan that plate...


Joel Greifinger
November 29th, 2014 04:01 AM

The 'deep frieze'

One thing I have found over the years is that the "Qashqai Frieze" is done in dark blue and white on Qashqai rugs, but often in red/green or yellow/blue and other different color combinations on Khamseh pieces.

Given your observation about the 'frieze' colors, when I came across these photos of a kilim that I haven't physically encountered for a long while (it stays in my "deep frieze" realm ), I wondered if, rather than Qashqai as I had assumed, it could perhaps be Khamseh.


Patrick Weiler
December 3rd, 2014 12:45 AM


I think you can take it out of the Frieze after the moth eggs are dead.

The mixed-color frieze is one clue. The rather Lurid orange is another. The borders are found in Luri and Bakhtiari kilims, but they usually wove in dovetail tapestry. Slit weave was generally used by Qashqai weavers, but if other features, such as those above, point away from Qashqai the question is which direction are they pointing?
One guess is that it is a "Shiraz" kilim, which could have been woven by a Luri or Arab component of the Khamseh Confederation. I am tending to think darker colors than the Qashqai used point in a Khamseh direction, but when this was woven the heyday of the Confederation was behind it. Did the factions fracture when the Confederation Profederated? (Opposite of Con is Pro, right?) Did the Luri go back to being Luri? This piece is "different" than the Basseri kilims in that it looks to be a bit wider than those posted at the beginning of this thread, but has some design similarities. We know that there were workshops where Qashqai products were made, but the Greater Shiraz weaving was apparently mostly family work brought to Shiraz for sale. At this point Shiraz is about as close as one could comfortably get to a source. One problem with distinguishing Khamseh kilims is that there were five components with different backgrounds, all of whom most likely maintained much of their prior culture, traditions and practices so the Confederation was never a consolidation and assimilation.
And, dealers in the west weren't familiar with the differences so that many weavings were attributed to the Qashqai, who must have had better Public Relations professionals working for them.

Patrick Weiler

Joel Greifinger
December 3rd, 2014 01:54 AM

  Isn't that mixing Luri's and oranges?

The rather Lurid orange
That kilim does have some orange, now that you mention it.


Chuck Wagner
December 3rd, 2014 05:51 AM

Vincent would be proud.

Wherever he is.

Chuck Wagner

Patrick Weiler
December 4th, 2014 12:00 AM

Where did Van Gogh?
Van Gogh?
Meanwhile, here is a kilim called Qashqai that is similar to the one Joel pulled from his Friezer:

It could also be called Shiraz, which means any of the tribes which made up the Khamseh Confederacy. Note the darker warps.
And, one from Jozan called Qashqai which looks a lot like those Joel opened this thread with:

Quite likely Basseri.
And one from Pinterest:

It, too, has that Basseri look. Darker warps and the multi-colored frieze tend to place it east of Qashqai work.
Also from Jozan, a "Shiraz area kilim":

This one has no frieze, darker warps and a darker coloration than the more cheerful Qashqai kilims. With the darker warps as a clue, could the Khamseh weavers have used this darker wool to dye the weft yarns, resulting in the characteristic (Suggested characteristic because no rug book authors were harmed in developing these Khamseh kilim clues.) darker coloration of their kilims?

Patrick Weiler

Chuck Wagner
December 5th, 2014 07:59 AM



Additionally, yep, Jim Opie also felt that rugs (especially pile) from that region with dark brown wool warps and rather busy designs were Khamseh. As I recall he liked ivory wool for Qashqai pieces.


Egbert Vennema
December 9th, 2014 01:28 AM

Hello guys. It took me some time find the courage to log in into this site. For years I read in the evening and night , the discussions and salons. And it kept me awake ,it was the good stuff. I am still a nitwit concearning rugs and carpets. Maybe I could contribute something to this discussion. Last week on an auction I bought this kilim. ( as being old..and from Ghashgai origine. I liked the composition, so I did the bidding. ) Somewhere in the back of my head I had this discussion. Sorry for the bad picture, it s evening here. But this piece of weaving is all slitweave. Could this contribute to the discussion ?

Egbert Vennema.

Joel Greifinger
December 9th, 2014 04:16 AM

Not a rigid frieze

Darker warps and the multi-colored frieze tend to place it east of Qashqai work.

In Persian Flatweaves, Tanavoli shows sixteen kilims that he confidently attributes as Qashqa'i. Of these, five have either dark warps or some combination of lighter and dark warps. Of the sixteen pieces, ten have some version of the "Qashqa'i frieze" as part of the end finish. Of these, nine have not just the blue/white but some other colored friezes (red/blue, red/yellow) as well.

This first one with mixed light and dark warps and both blue/white and yellow/red friezes he attributes as Kashkuli:

the next with mixed light and dark warps and red/blue in addition to the blue/white frieze he attributes to the Amaleh:

This one has ivory warps, but alternating colors in the finish and, design-wise, looks quite like some of those in question:

It's certainly possible that Tanavoli was going along with the existing tendency to make the default attribution of these Fars kilims to one or another of the Qashqa'i tribes. However, it doesn't provide much confidence in those particular features (dark warps and/or multi-colored friezes) as ways of differentiating Khamseh from Qashqa'i kilims.

Here's another of personal acquaintance. I've thought of it as Qashqa'i, despite the darker warps. Is there good reason to entertain an alternative attribution?


Steve Price
December 9th, 2014 04:30 AM

Hi All

The images have been added to Egbert's post.

Steve Price

Egbert Vennema
December 9th, 2014 07:23 PM

Here some additional foto s taken by daylight, I hope it brings something to the discussion. Regards Egbert.

Patrick Weiler
December 10th, 2014 10:38 PM

Mr. Mustard, in the kitchen, with a knife.

Is your name pronounced with the G like Roger?

Nice kilim. Slit weave tapestry of that size would generally be called Qashqai. I am curious about the appearance of what looks like dovetailed or double-interlocking construction where the border is attached to the field. That may be an indicator of "other than Qashqai" manufacture.
I might be inclined to consider Luri as the source for that reason, but when making up (inventing? speculating? fabricating?) the criteria for differentiating between Qashqai and other sources, round pegs in square holes such as a mixture of tecnhiques, end friezes, wool color and quality could help in the effort. We call dovetailed kilims, which look like what has always been called Qashqai, Luri. The major border of your piece is often seen in Luri work and the frieze is not the typical Qashqai version, but the warps are a bit lighter than I might expect for Luri work - but it isn't clear if there are darker warps in your piece. The colors are not typical Qashqai either, with that dark green seeming out of place, but the outer border at the bottom looks like a more Qashqai light green/mustard color. Maybe the Qashqai, Lurs and Khamseh all shopped at the same fabric store back in the day.
Joel, all the kilims you posted have the identical version of the reciprocal border. The last two I might be inclined to call Shiraz, a term that now seems to fall into the same nebulous category as NW Persian.

Patrick Weiler

Joel Greifinger
December 11th, 2014 03:50 AM

One step forward...

The last two I might be inclined to call Shiraz, a term that now seems to fall into the same nebulous category as NW Persian.


Would it really be progress to assign the "nebulous" and generic term, 'Shiraz' to this kilim that Tanavoli seemed to have reason to attribute as "Qashqa'i, Kashkuli" in Persian Flatweaves (p. 190, pl. 149)?


Egbert Vennema
December 12th, 2014 03:25 PM

Hi,Patrick, it s a soft "g " as in" Chondzoresk," but most Americans pronounce it as " Eggbert " also no problem. Concearning the edge\side of the kilim, give me a day or so, it s pouring cat s and dogs over here , so I can make some better foto s ( hope a better close-up , cheap camera ! ) of the weaving. Regards, Egbert. 

Chuck Wagner
December 14th, 2014 09:31 PM

Hi all,

Warp material aside I think the whole thing works well as Qashqai - the borders and end designs are certainly consistent with other pieces I've seen as well as a couple in Hull & Luczyc-Wyhowska. And while a couple knowledgeable authors use dark vs. light warp as a discriminating feature, I'm not so sure it would stand up to the realities of materials availability. More a guideline than an actual rule.... arrrr.

Chuck Wagner

Patrick Weiler
December 30th, 2014 10:25 PM

If not Qashqai, what?
Perhaps this thread should be Kilims Called Qashqai. There are a heck of a lot more of those than ones labeled Khamseh.
Here is one which is on the market as Qashqai. The colors, especially the light blue, green and the light orange, seem different for a Qashqai. The warps appear to be a mix of light, with sections of darker, wool - often a Khamseh attribute:

It is in slit weave, which is a more Qashqai trait than their neighboring Luri. If we were to generalize, (what a concept!) a Luri weaving would be more likely shared-warp. If it isn't Qashqai, the construction could more probably nudge it into the Khamseh range.
Here is another rug, also on the market, labeled SW Persian.

It has a Qashqai appearance, with the major gul and typical frieze.


But the frieze is multi-colored, the reciprocal border is quite similar to the kilim above, and the S cartouche border is quite Khamseh in appearance.
These kinds of similarities, vague as they are, could allow us to separate pieces into more discrete groups than simply Qashqai or the fall-back Shiraz category.
And another "Qashqai" kilim on the market. This one has the shorter, more square shape which some Basseri Khamseh kilims are said to have. It doesn't have the Qasiqai frieze, but does have dark gray warps.

The reciprocal medachyl border, S-shaped rows and tuning-forks could give it less Qashqai cachet and more Khamseh confidence.
A few weeks of poring over bushels of kilim images hasn't produced a smoking gun of evidence one way or another. The issue of whether or not many Qashqai kilims are actually Khamseh may, in fact, be a study of "If not Qashqai, what?".

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
December 31st, 2014 08:44 PM

Mr. Tanavoli wrote a book. Well, he wrote lots of them, but the one on Persian Flatweaves includes a couple of Varamin Eye Dazzler kilims. It also has 18 Qashqai kilims but only a single Khamseh kilim.
Here is an eye dazzler, not from the book, attributed to Varamin.

Close up, it appears that the field is slit-weave tapestry:

The outer reciprocal-medachyl border is seen in Qashqai, but also Khamseh and Luri work:

The ends have a few rows of a rectangular S or Z shape. The warp appears like mixed black and gray goat hair.
This piece could be Khamseh, but Tanavoli conveniently does not differentiate this piece from the two Varamin eye dazzlers, nor from the neighboring Qashqai kilims. I will post some pictures from the Tanavoli book for comparison.

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
December 31st, 2014 09:37 PM

The View from Varamin
Here are the two kilims from the Parviz Tanavoli book Persian Flatweaves which are Varamin eye-dazzlers:

The first one uses "inclined slit tapestry weave", which is also known as eccentric weft. The weft yarns actually bend in order to produce curved designs.
Tanavoli notes that: "The weavers of Varamin have often used eye-dazzling designs, executed in every imaginable configuration, sometimes with borders and sometimes without." The first of these two he suggests is by Turkish speaking tribes, but the other he does not comment on except to say it is also slit tapestry weave. Only one of the Varamin kilims in the Tanavoli book has extended ends like the piece in the previous post #30, and it appears to be constructed of plain weave with rows of complementary weft - unlike the slit-weave ends of post 30.

This is the single Khamseh kilim, with the Post #30 piece below for comparison:

One difference between the Varamin versions and the Khamseh is the use of that trademark Varamin Orange, which is more of a golden yellow in the Khamseh piece and the post #30 piece. The Khamseh piece does use inclined slit tapestry weave, but has the tuning-fork border similar to the S/Z border of post #30. Neither Varamin piece has borders, but both the Khamseh and Post #30 do. It would be more likely, in my estimation, that the Tanavoli Khamseh and Post #30 are from south of Varamin. Tanavoli posits that his Khamseh piece is Baharlu tribe, a Turkish-speaking group.

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
February 18th, 2015 02:30 AM

Close up view
I have finally been able to get a closer view of the kilim from post 30.

The warp is either goat or horse hair, not sheep wool.

Tanavoli discussed weaving materials, but did not mention Varamins as having goat or horse hair warps or wefts. Few of the pieces in his Varamin book have dark warps and none appear this dark. We know Qashqai weavers are fond of white warps, so darker warps can be an indicator of Khamseh construction. Are there any other indicators in this piece that may help determine where it may have been made, or not made?
It is all slit tapestry, leaving Luri out of the running. And the coloration does not include the typical oranges of Varamin pieces. The dark green and medium blues seem more Khamseh and less Qashqai. Here is an eye dazzler kilim called Qashqai, on the market. It has the complementary-weft Qashqai frieze in blue and white, but also in light blue and red. The size and shape, along with mixed warp colors, could tip it in a Khamseh direction.

And another on the market labeled Varamin. Note the orange color often found in Varamin work, and the ends have the typical Varamin complementary-weft row and some soumak in white.

At this point, the similarities are strong between Varamin and Khamseh kilims, and not enough is known about construction details, colors, size, shape and handle to really be conclusive about these eye-dazzler kilims. And we may never know.

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler
March 3rd, 2015 06:41 AM

Here is another piece, on the market and described as South Persian, that would usually be described as Qashqai. Once again, the mixed color dark warps, the large size at 278x158cm-9'x5', mixed color complementary-weft borders and darker coloration all nudge the origin in a Khamseh direction.

Another feature which may be discernible in the close-up is a mixture of shared-warp/dovetail-warp and slit-weave construction in the colored designs within the white-ground "field". A Qashqai kilim would be more likely entirely slit-weave construction

This design is not shown as a border in the Peter Stone lexicon from Khamseh, Luri, Qashqai or Afshar weavings.
One other interesting feature not readily evident unless you look at a close-up is that this kilim appears to have a very dark weft. It could be goat hair, similar to the prior posted kilim attributed to Varamin.
Comprehensive research into differentiating the kilims of SW Persia is sorely lacking and may not be possible even if the opportunity to study them in Iran were available. Many of these striking pieces came to the market anonymously, and any link to their origins was lost before they got there.

Patrick Weiler