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The city of Bijar (Bidjar) in Northwestern Iran is inhabited mostly by a Kurdish population. It is a renown weaving center and a market destination for surrounding villages. Bijar is referred to as the "Roof Top of Iran" due to its elevation of 6300 ft. The Bijar (or Bidjar) rug is known for its rich lustrous wool, beautiful colors and the use of both an intricate Herati motif and beautiful floral design. Of all Persian rugs the Bijar (Bidjar) is most famous for its extremely durable and heavy construction. Due to its very firm pile and hardy high altitude wool, Bijar rugs are called the Iron rug of Iran.
Bijar is a rug gathering center for many villages in the area, such as Zanjan or Goltugh. There are many villages and they are populated mostly by Kurds. The weavers of these Kurdish carpets weave a wide range of designs with a different color palette but for the most part they continue to produce rugs and carpets that are identifiable to their respective village. These traditional weavers in and around Bijar all share a common feature; they weave a rug with very dense and packed knotting which produces a very compact pile.
Bijar weavers pride themselves on their reputation for making the worlds most durable rug. The weavers use a heavy weighted claw to pound down the row of knots before the weft is passed. Today almost all Bijars are double wefted. In the past sometimes three to five passes of weft were laid per row of thick heavy knots. High quality Bijar rugs today are so tight it is inadvisable to fold them and they should only be rolled.
The finest of Bijar (Bidjar) rugs are usually associated with Bukon or Tekab. They are finely woven, often with the finest wool & silk inlays and highlights. It has been said that while many lament the decline of weaving standards, that Bijar is the exception. Over time they developed beautiful patterns primarily Herati diamond shaped medallion or Herati floral medallion. The knot count of Bijar rugs has also improved over time. Aside from the awesome construction of these famous rugs the weavers of have maintained an artistic sense of freedom. It is this folk art coupled with matchless durability that has made Bijar rugs and carpets sought after. The very finest Persian Bijar or antique Bijar rugs are investments in a truly fine art.