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Posted on: September 29, 2020

A Brief History – Senneh Carpets

As the name suggests, Senneh carpets are from a town in western Iran formerly known as Senneh. Today the city is called Sanandij and it is the capital of Kurdistan province. The Senneh carpet is specifically woven by the city’s Kurdish population. These handwoven textiles, more importantly, are considered the finest among the region’s expansive network of Kurdish communities.

This antique Senneh carpet shows a paisley floral motif in a hexagonal frame that is surrounded by many borders in various geometric patterns and widths.

Most antique Senneh rugs are composed of a cotton warp and weft with a low wool pile. Despite its name that is synonymous with the asymmetrical Persian knot, Senneh weaves typically employ the symmetrical Turkish knot. What truly separates Senneh carpets from other Kurdish rugs, however, is their weaving technique. They are woven for durability like all Kurdish carpets. But unlike the quintessentially thick weft and knot, Sennehs have a more sophisticated and refined pile knot. This is why the design of Senneh carpets are usually more delicate and detailed than other common Kurdish motifs.

This large 12'3" x 16'3" Senneh carpet is an important antique with a blue field and a repeating red and white floral pattern.

These tasteful carpets are known for having paisley (boteh) and Herati patterned designs born from red and blue yarns. Often their field is blue while their design offers a contrasting deep red. Herati refers to rhombus shaped medallions that create a lattice frame for leafy floral paisley motifs. Alternatively, a hexagonal medallion outline creates the framework for the paisley pattern when the Herati lattice is not repeated throughout the field. In rarer instances, more realistic floral patterns are woven. These were most likely carpets commissioned for nobility and foreign export. Finally, Senneh rugs have multiple detailed borders of varying widths. Sometimes, there is a border that consists of mirrored arabesques called “turtles.”

This detailed image of an antique Senneh carpets field reveals a colorful pattern of realistic detailed rose-like flowers on a blue field.

Looking to adorn your floor in a piece of history? Find one-of-a-kind Senneh carpets in excellent antique condition on Orley Shabahang’s website or on our 1stDibs page.