Design of Lori Rug (Rugman)
|Original name||قالی لری|
|Alternative name(s)||Lori Carpet|
|Origin||Iran: Lorestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Fars, Isfahan, Markazi|
|Common colors||Red, Brown, Navy Blue, Beige|
|Dyeing method||Natural, Synthetic|
|Foundation material||Cotton, Wool, Goat Hair|
|Knot type||Symmetrical (Turkish), Asymmetrical (Persian)|
Lori rugs, woven by people living in Lorestan in the western part of Iran, are tribal traditional rugs. Lori weavers create traditional rugs in designs and styles similar to those created by the Kurds. Still living as they did hundreds of years ago, Lori rugs are woven with handmade tools following the time honored traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation over centuries. Lori rugs are flat-woven, meaning that it is a textile without a pile. Flat weave is a technique of weaving where no knots are used. Instead the warp strands are used as the foundation of the traditional rugs and the weft stands are used as both part of the foundation and in creating the patterns. The weft strands are woven through the warp strands.
The Lori, also called "Lor" or "Lur," are a large tribe living in the Lorestan Province and across the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. They are the oldest known tribe in Iran. Over the centuries, the Lori tribe have spread out from Lorestan and settled in the Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran near the Persian Gulf. Today the Lori live among the Afshar, Bakhtiari, Kurd, and Qashqai tribes. They reside in cities and towns in the region, but a small percentage still live as nomads, raising livestock and migrating semiannually. A historically significant Lori subtribe is the Mamassani.
Lori rugs began to be woven in the mid-nineteenth century. Rugs from this period to the 1920s have a wool foundation. From the 1920s onward, the weavers mainly used a cotton foundation. Lori weavers are known for making flatwoven rugs mostly for personal use. Some weavers use an extra weft for their flatwoven designs similar to the Soumal styles from the Caucasus region. Pile rugs are also woven, most with the Turkish (symmetric) knot, although some occasionally are made with Persian (asymmetric) knots. Lori designs are geometric, with tribal influences from Kurdistan and Turkmenistan. Lori rugs generally have an allover pattern featuring diamond-shaped lozenges with or without Hook motifs, as well as horizontal and vertical stripes, Turkmen Gul (flower), Shrub, Star, and S motifs, and leaves, animals, birds, flower heads, and other tribal motifs. Tribal movements and intermarriages among tribes resulted in design combinations.
It is important to note that after World War II, tribal rugs from Iran began to receive special attention in the world market. Production increased dramatically, and this had a largely positive economic mpact for all tribal weavers. Today any nineteenth-century tribal woven rug, including a Lori rug, is considered a collector's item and is in demand in the antique market. The Lori tribe also makes Gabbeh rugs using the natural wool colors of white, brown, and black, which are fashionable in the Western market. In addition, the Lori subtribe of the Yalameh makes rugs and carpets that are successfully marketed in Europe. Early Lori rugs have traditional field colors of reds, blues, browns, and ivory. Since World War II, all shades of red, blue, green, gold, beige, cinnamon, brown, gray, and black are used for the background, borders, and design elements. These colors appear especially in Yalameh rugs in particularly charming and popular combinations. Until the mid-twentieth century, Lori rug sizes were woven in formats ranging from bags to rugs approximately ten feet by five feet, with Yalamehs reaching dimensions of up to twelve feet by nine feet. After this period, Lori sizes increased to small room dimensions.
- Moheban, 2015, 351-352
- Abraham Levi Moheban. 2015. The Encyclopedia of Antique Carpets: Twenty-Five Centuries of Weaving. NewYork: Princeton Architectural Press.