Gabbeh of Shiraz and Bushehr

Typical floor covering from southern Iran

The gabbeh is one of the most popular handicrafts in Iran, especially in cities like Shiraz and Bushehr, very similar to the carpet, but different in pattern, size, color and number of its long and thick fabrics. The patterns on the gabbeh are not the same as those on the carpet and the knotting is less elaborate. The gabbeh may not have an edge or be symmetrical. Many of its patterns resemble simple and primitive children’s paintings, inspired by nature and its environment.

The biggest difference between gabbeh and carpet is the color of the material used to make them. An important part of the gabbeh is woven, using wool in its ecru color. The Bushehr gabbeh has simple backgrounds in white, cream, brown, red, and other similar colors. The weavers are mostly women and girls who have a specific type of pattern in mind. The materials used in the gabbeh weaving process are made from the wool of sheep raised in the area. Some of the most famous motifs are Langar (anchor), Khesht (brick), Chang (harp), geometric figures, birds and animals. Nowadays, the gabbeh in Iran has become a decorative item in the living room and the entrance of the houses, in fact the use of the gabbeh, neglected for a time, is once again appreciated for the casual and sporty decoration of the houses. The gabbeh, despite being a floor covering, is also applied to make other objects such as backpacks, bags, purses, cushions and even pictures to hang on the walls.


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