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.
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.
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.”