Persian Todeshk rugs

handmade persian Nain rug

Persian Todeshk rugs

Persian Todeshk rugs- Looking out for the vintage rugs is one of the main attractions in sourcing antique handmade rugs. The vintage refers to those splendid handmade rugs that are rare and in highest quality. The high-quality rugs normally have high KPSI knots and amazing detailing in both designs and colours. The Persian Todeshk rugs do have these attributes and therefore are categorised as vintage handmade rugs.

Todeshk is the name of a small town between cities of Isfahan and Nain in central Persia. This town does an old antiquity and is a relic of a pre-Islamic era. The indigenous architecture and the life in this desert community are unique and astonishing. Although the history of fine woollen men’s cloak and cloth making dates back to centuries, however, Todeshk is famous for its magnificent carpets, even though its carpet production is relatively new and little more than a century old. Noteworthy in many cases the regional weavers must take the credit for producing high-quality rugs with some as thin and fine as 4-La (4-ply). “4-La is associating with Todeshk neighbouring city Nain”.

Why are Persian Todeshk Rugs sought after?

Today there are almost no more workshops in Todeshk producing such wonderful pieces. A majority of weavers and their families migrated to the surrounding cities. Yet Todeshk rugs remain popular and expensive. Perhaps one reason is that their weave is asymmetrical, woven on vertical looms with the fine wool pile and cotton warps. Then wool pile clip together for better and finer look with the use of silk wraps. In the higher and finer rugs, by using kork (baby lamb wool), the pile somehow becomes lustrous and shimmy. Another reason is the use of silk around the flowers and arabesques. It is no surprise to see Todeshk rugs with more than 900 knots per square inch. Often Todeshk is mistaken with Nain rugs, and although there are similarities when it comes to quality there is no comparison between them.

Uncompromising Quality

As part of our ongoing commitment at Imperial Rugs, we would like to share four exquisite Persian Todeshk rugs with you in order to encapsulate the uncompromising quality that these antique and decorative pieces bring.

1- Collectable Todeshk rug

Even amongst Persian Todeshk rugs, there are few which stand out. These rugs if found in good condition consider as collectable pieces. Like rare antique and fine silk and wool Persian Todeshk Nain rug below. Measuring 245cm x 164cm (8’x5’4″), circa 1920, it does an eye-catching central medallion interacting with many foliates, spandrels in an antique white main field. Similar decorative red and blue borders blend well with the main field. The dense foundation and high-quality wool and silk indicate the rug as one of the finest from the region. It is also remarkably in good condition with almost full pile and long end silk fringes.

Decorative antique Persian Todeshk Nain rug
Decorative antique Persian Todeshk Nain rug in the eye-catching silk and Kork wool.







2- Todeshk rug in an eye-catching design.

The phenomenon of decorations that capsulated the world population for the past 100 years have revived the interest of both traditional and decorative carpets. Many of these wonderful pieces, like this fantastic Persian antique silk and wool Todeshk Nain rug, use to revolutionise the décor of any interior. Measuring 230cm x 140cm (7’5″x4’9″) and belonging to the first quarter of the 20th century contains uncompromising detailing.

Antique Persian carpet
Fine silk and wool antique Persian Todeshk rug in immaculate condition.











3- A Todeshk rug combining medallion with hunting scene design.

The Persian Todeshk rug below combines central medallion design with hunting scene borders. The blue abrash colour in the medallion gives the rug an amazing look. It measures 235cmx157cm (7’7”x5”), circa 1940 with having the attributes require from Todeshk carpets.

Todeshk rug
This Todeshk rug has combined central medallion with hunting scene borders.











4- Antique Todeshk rug with Isfahan design theme.

The Persian below is more similar to Isfahan rugs from the early part of the 20th century. While weave does resemble Isfahan design, but its muted colours remind us of excellent Todeshk rugs. It measures 218cm x 155cm (7’x5′) and remains remarkably in good condition.

Isfahan Todeshk rug
This Persian Todeshk has more of an Isfahan rugs look.


antique Persian silk rugs

A pair of persian silk kashan prayer rugs

antique Persian silk rugs.

It was an early morning back in December 2008. I was going through a backlog of emails as well as checking various auction houses looking for some inspiration. As an experienced carpet trader, the temptation of forking out thousands of pounds for something before viewing is a crazy idea. However, curiosity and perseverance on that morning lead me to a pair of extremely fine handmade Persian silk Kashan rugs from early 20th century. It appeared that they were belonging to a private collection which remained with the same family for two generations. I am always an admirer of silk rugs, particularly those from a similar era as the pair silk rugs . In my opinion, Persian silk Kashan rugs from the late 19th/early 20th century are of the highest quality of craftsmanship. It because their colours are rightly chosen and are incredibly appealing to naked eyes. Also their silk foundations are heavier and denser, something that has been missing in recent silk rugs.

The auction was held in Canada which made me conscious of time zone difference. I frantically started making general inquires about the rugs. As well as trying to secure a telephone bid at the last minutes.

Buying an item thousand miles away without viewing seems like a crazy idea. But the overwhelming feeling of missing out on such a rare opportunity makes you to re-visit your principles. Whether it was expertly bought or pure luck, the rugs turned out to be one of the most worthwhile yet expensive purchases. With many years of experience in the field this extraordinary purchase, was perhaps the most satisfying.

I’m not quite sure if I’ll be prepared to do the same thing again. The outcome next time may be entirely different. Nor I do recommend buying  rugs online to my clients. Unless they are returning customers who bought from the website before. By far the best approach is to go through extensive consultation process to find the right carpet.

The pair silk Persian Kashan rugs have since been sold to a new home but the memory of that early morning will stay with me forever.


Reference to antique Persian silk rugs :


Close up images of antique pair Persian silk Kashan rugs.

Pair of fine silk Persian Kashan rugs
antique handmade Persian silk rugs circa 1920.
Decorative silk Kashan rugs
Decorative antique Persian silk rugs with having eye-catching colours






Persian silk carpets
Image showing high quality silk in Persian rugs.
Antique persian silk Kashan rugs circa 1920
Antique persian silk rugs circa 1920 with densely woven foundation.

Antique white colour Tekke Turkmen carpet

Antique Tekke Turkmen rug after restoration.

Antique Tekke Turkmen carpet in white colour: Of various tribes who have been involved with carpet making in South and Southwest of Turkestan, the name of Tekke always stands out. Almost all of the Tekke Bokhara rugs are based on so-called elephant Foot or Gul design, in which incidentally seen in the majority of Afghan rugs. The unique feature of original Tekke rugs is that their colours are not uniform. They are innumerable shades of the same colour, known as Abrash. This is a feature of natural dyes which gives liveliness to the rug and cannot be obtained in machine spun yarns. Most Tekke rugs are made of deep blood red colours. These colours normally reflect the surroundings the dwellers live in and the harsh conditions in which they are subjected to. However, occasionally there are few pieces made, which have defied this philosophy. The white Tekke Turkmen rugs belonging to the early and mid 19th century are rare and almost impossible to source. That is why the discovery of these rugs even if in poor conditions can still create huge excitement.

Of course, a dilemma remains whether, it worth to restore these rugs, or just accept their used conditions. In my humble opinion, it all depend on, how passionate we are about restoring these rugs and what is our ultimate goal. Many other questions can also be asked, like the cost of restoration or even if they can fully be repaired. In order to remove any ambiguities with regards to these questions, let look at below images belonging to a lovely Tekke Turkmen room size carpet in white field sourced from vintage home in Scotland. The images before and after restoration showing an incredible transformation.

Before Restoration:

Tekke Turkmen white carpet made circa 1880 with faded field and worn areas holes and stains before restoration.
Antique Tekke Turkmen carpet made circa 1880 demonstrates faded field and worn areas including holes and stains just before restoration.
End kilims worn off with tears as well as tatty pile.
Tekke Turkmen carpet with its end kilims worn off with torn fringes.
Visible holes like the one in the photo with many stains.
Above image shows visible hole areas of old stains and extensive wears into the Gul motifs.
Areas of heavy wear with the white field became faded and look dull.
Areas of heavy wear with the white field became faded and look dull.
End Kilims and fringes subjected to years of usage with many tears and stains.
End Kilims and fringes subjected to years of usage with tears and stains.

After Restoration:

after restoration only few localised wear and stains remaining.
after the restoration, this antique tekke Turkmen carpet has only a few localised wear and stains.
Process of re-piling as well as restoring parts with the identical wools.
the Process of re-piling as well as restoring parts with the identical wools.
Tatty and torn end Kilims replaced with new fringes woven with both ends secured.
Tatty and torn end Kilims replaced with new fringes woven with both ends secured.
The original colours have returned in this splendid antique white tekke turkmen rug.
The original colours have returned in this splendid antique Tekke Turkmen carpet.
Restoration of field and retuning the vibrant colours.
Restoration of field and return to the vibrant colours.

The important aspect of restoring antique rugs is that during restoration many discoveries are found. For example, how texture and the weave in this Turkmen are different from other Tekke rugs. It seemed its foundation was heavier. Even the original wool felt slightly coarser but the overall weave still fine with high density. Both red and white colours look deeper and more antique looking than other Tekke Turkmen rugs.

Above discoveries show, how fascinating and unique these tribal rugs are. As such it would be a shame to not bring back their true identity by having them professionally restored.


Isfahan Bethlehem Church

painting depicting Khaje Petros an Armenian Merchant who built Bethlaham Church

Isfahan Bethlehem Church : Bethlehem Church is situated at the heart of Julfa area in city of Isfahan. It was built by Armenian Merchant named Khaje Petros, during Safavid dynasty under ruler king Abbas I. Khaje Petros, who also was buried at the same churchyard, was congregated prayers at the church. He helped Armenian migrants in many ways during difficult times by creating jobs so they can integrated with Persian ways of life. The paintings on the walls as well as ceramic tiles inside the church demonstrate the artistry belonging to 16th and 17th centuries at its best . The paintings such as last supper, Christ and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee and the expulsion from Eden, depicting the life and sacrifices of Jesus. The ceramic paintings however demonstrate various patterns of floral and decorative motifs in exquisite colours. It is from these paintings, that designs of fine handmade Persian rugs have been adhered. Fabulous spandrels, foliages and tree of life patterns which have been woven in many carpets in Persia, were all copied from these kinds of designs. One of the interesting ceramic paintings found inside the church is the inscription in Armenian, dated back to 1627 and 1711. Truly a beautiful place where a cross-reference between East and West culture can easily be felt. It was a pleasure to revisit this marvellous historical place and share with you a few close up photos.

Painting depicting Jesus and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee
Painting depicting Jesus and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee.
Inscriptions in Armenian date back to 1627 and 1711 and installed in remembrance of those who performed charitable work for church
Inscriptions in Armenian date back to 1627 and 1711. It was installed in remembrance of those who performed charitable works for church.
Painting depicting the born of Juses
The scene showing the birth of Jesus in this fantastic painting.
Painting depicting the life of Jesus
Church of Bethlehem in Isfahan showing painting depicting the life of Jesus including other angels.



This Ceramic tile painting made around the early 16th century shows the tree of life design, which can be seen in many antique rugs belonging to the early 20th century
This Ceramic painting was made early 16th century. It shows the vase design featured in many antique rugs over the past few centuries.
Tree of life Silk Kashan rug
Identical Vase design seen in this antique silk Persian Kashan rug.
Ceramic tiles in Bethlehem Church showing paintings of trees and floral motifs which made early 1600 century.
This ceramic painting shows, trees and floral motifs.
Patterns of tree and motif design in this antique Isfahan rug initiated from the ceramic paintings belonging to 16th and 17th century.
The Patterns of tree and floral motifs similar to left hand picture shown in this antique Isfahan rug.
The full painting depicting the tree of life design
Another example of  tree of life design painting made on ceramic and currently available in Bethlehem Church.
Example of tree of lif design in this handmade persian silk Kashan rug
Example of tree of life design can also be seen in this silk Kashan rug.
Ceramic tiles showing the vase painting belonging to almost 5 century ago.
Ceramic showing the vase painting belonging to Safavid dynasty. .
This beautiful early 20th century antique Isfahan rug has got its vase design from ceramic tile painting belonging to Safavid dynasty.
This beautiful early 20th century antique Isfahan rug has its vase design initiated from ceramic tile painting belonging to Safavid dynasty.
Ceramic painting showing off this splendid spandrels design which can be seen in many Persian rugs
Splendid spandrels design which has been featured in many Persian rugs and was inspired by paintings in church of Bethlehem in Isfahan.
The all over design of this Persian silk Kashan is based on ceramic paintings seen in Bethlehem church in Isfahan
The Persian silk Kashan which its design is based on all over open field of spandrels.
Ceramic painting showing off floral motifs and bands of foliage
Ceramic painting showing off floral motifs and bands of foliage.
Persian green handmade silk and wool rug
This Persian Isfahan handmade silk and wool rug, demonstrates the central floral motif similar to ceramic painting.
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