Posted on: February 25, 2020
Antique Spotlight – Bibibaft Bakhtiari
This one-hundred-year-old Bibibaft Bakhtiari is filled with so many rich colors that have shone more brilliantly over time. Continue reading to learn why this Persian tribal carpet is not only aesthetically jaw-dropping but also technically genius.
This Bibibaft Bakhtiari continues to awe one hundred years after its conception. Woven in 1920, this tribal carpet remains in excellent antique condition. That is the mark of a true Persian carpet. This week we take a look at what makes this particular piece so special.
Measuring 4’6″ x 6’9″, this antique Bibibaft Bakhtiari consists of a cotton warp, handspun wool weft and a hand-knotted handspun wool pile. As a historically nomadic tribe, the raw materials for this rug were sourced from the group’s livestock and fields. The handspun wool was then dyed with locally sourced natural vegetable dyes to create the rich hues of blues, red, pink, green, and yellow. By using vegetable dye on handspun wool, the weaver has given her creation visual depth and functional longevity.
Like most antique Persian carpets, the Bakhtiari weaver created this piece improvisationally. As a “Bibibaft,” or “queen weave,” this carpet was woven by a very high-ranking weaver within the village, usually the wife of the village chief. Her design is very unique not only because of its superior execution but also its central medallion. The 16 points that make up the medallion are a spiritual symbol representing the 16 dimensions that the Bakhtiari believe to exist, eight of them being inward and eight of them being outward as depicted here.