Malayer rugs are normally built on cotton foundations and are examples of true Herati designs. Size can vary but most rugs are small to medium in size in nomadic patterns with shades of red being the predominant colour. Antique Malayer rugs were created by individual weavers during the 1800s and early 1900s for the most part. Both allover field designs and central medallion Oriental carpets were woven in Malayer rugs. Natural dyes were employed in the best Malayer antique rugs with deep navy blue frequently used as a field color. The quality of Malayer rugs can vary from good to poor depending of pattern, quality of wool, age and knot count.
Malayer (Persian: ملاير, also Romanized as Malāyer; formerly Dowlatabad (Persian: دَولَت آباد), also Romanized as Dowlatābād and Daūlatābād) is a city in and capital of Malayer County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 153,748, in 40,750 families.
This city is located between two major weaving areas of Hamadan and Sarouk within Iran. The second largest city of the province, Malayer has a reputation for rug weaving.
Single weft is called “Sennah Baft” or Hamadan weave. Here the wefts are rigid and the warps are sinuous. As you can see in the sketch the wefts are heavier than the warps. It is woven with symmetrical knots. Since there is only one shot of weft between each row of knots this shows every other warp which makes these rugs easy to spot.
These rugs display uniqueness in the broad range of designs and choice of colors. They are true artistic creations, and their value reflects their artistry. Regional weavers generally produced smaller area rugs and runners although larger room-sized rugs were created on commission.
Finely woven for village Persian carpets, the best Malayer rugs were woven in the village of Mishin, and use a lustrous, resilient wool and subtle, mesmerizing, repeating patterns. Many of the weavers were of ethnic Turkish stock and the “Ghiordes” or symmetric knot was used in all Malayer rugs. The wool pile is often cut fairly short to accentuate the detail and clarity of the design.