The Beauty of Iranian Rug-Making

This past fall, Master Rug Cleaner hosted a two-week rug tour of Iran. We were extremely fortunate to have Zollanvari, the largest producer of handmade rugs in Iran, sponsor our visit. The Zollanvari brothers, Reza and Hamid, opened their manufacturing facilities and traveled with our group to remote tribal villages where weaving is performed for an unforgettable experience.


Exploring Iranian Rug Making

Weavers bring children to work, a rug four years in the making, and anti-US demonstrations in pictures.


Rug Touring in Turkey: Part III

  • Turkey Part 3 #1
  • Turkey Part 3 #2
  • Turkey Part 3 #3
  • Turkey Part 3 #4

This is the final chapter of the Master Rug Cleaner Tour of Turkey. We saw the main tourist destinations of Istanbul, Izmir, Ephesus and Cappadocia and visited the rug weaving, dyeing and finishing facilities of Woven Legends. (Editor’s Note: See the August and October issues of ICS for Parts I and II, respectively.) We continue by chartered bus to the far eastern border of Turkey. 

Three of the ladies on the tour were of Armenian descent and wanted to visit the villages where their grandfathers lived as well as see some of the iconic sites from Armenian history.  


Rug Touring in Turkey: Part I

  • Istanbul
  • Grand Bazaar

    Grand Bazaar owned by Zakei Opcin and Murat Ayhan

  • Cocoon

    Cocoon owned by Seref Ozen in the Arasta Bazaar

  • Antique Textile Conservation

    Antique Textile Conservation repair facility

  • Antique Textile Conservation 2

    Antique Textile Conservation repairs

  • Ephesus

    Our group at the ancient Greek/Roman city of Ephesus that is one of the Seven Wonders of the World

In the months of May and June (2012), Ellen Amirkhan and I led a group of Master Rug Cleaners to Turkey where we saw the cultural highlights of the country and, in particular, rug weaving (and rug shopping). 

The trip really was a once-in-a-lifetime journey, as several key individuals were available to join us and we were able to experience a lot.


Rug Touring in Turkey: Part II

  • Hot Air Balloons
    Hot air balloons over Cappadocia
  • Silk Rug Production Exibit
  • Woven Legends
    Woven Legends’ rug weaving operation
  • CHemical Wash
    Chemical Wash
  • Pile Sheared
    The pile is sheared
  • Woven Legends 2
  • Woven Legends 3

We began our most excellent Turkish adventure with rug shopping in Istanbul, a visit to Antique Textile Conservation in Izmir and a stop at the ancient city of Ephesus. (See the August issue of ICS for “Rug Touring in Turkey: Part I.”) 

The Master Rug Cleaner tour continued from Izmir by air to Kayseri and on to Cappadocia, an ancient region mentioned in the Bible. The soft tufa stone of the area was carved into houses, shops and churches and is a protected open-air national museum. The best way to view Cappadocia is by hot air balloon (Image 1). Our stay in Cappadocia ended with rug shopping at the local government-sponsored weaving center, which included a silk rug production exhibit (Image 2).


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