Antique Bidjar rugs were woven in Kurdistan Province in northwest Persia. Colloquially known as The Iron Rug Of Persia, antique Bidjar rugs are renowned for their dense weave which produces a heavy, highly durable rug.
Small antique Bidjar rugs, room size Bidjar carpets and Bidjar runners feature a wide range of designs, including the Herati design, the most famous of all classical Persian Safavid Dynasty formats from the 16th to early 18th centuries; the Harshang design of various palmettes and flowers; the Afshan design; the Mina Hani design of flowerheads and lattice work; open field designs; and perhaps most famously the Split Arabesque design.
Also woven in northwest Persia’s Kurdistan Province are the extraordinary antique rugs produced in the city of Senneh (sometimes called Sanandaj). With a distinct, single knotted construction that features a high degree of twist to the knots, antique Senneh rugs can be identified by the granular feel of the back of the rug. As is the case with antique Bidjar rugs, antique Senneh rugs can be seen in a range of qualities, from medium fine to silk foundation examples that are so finely woven that it is difficult to imagine people being able to weave by hand such a remarkable textile.
Antique Senneh rugs most frequently feature the Herati design or open field formats, though all-over patterns are sometimes used. Curiously, two of the designs most associated with Bidjar; i.e., the Harshang design and the Split Arabesque design, are rarely seen in Senneh weavings.
Kurdish and Shah Savan weavers in Persian Kurdistan, including in the Bidjar area, also wove saddle bags and larger tent bags. These tribal textiles, generally pile weavings but in the case of Shah Savan weavers frequently done in a Soumak (brocade) style, are beautiful displayed on a wall or table.