Ilam province spread over the western side of Iran has a rich history in handcraft and textile production. Almost all Ilami women and girls are involved in artistic activities specially carpet weaving.
Due to the environmental conditions of the region and its cold weather, a particular type of village carpet called "Khersak" has been widely woven in the area.
Long and thick pile, large stitch, plain and imaginative patterns are the most striking features of the classic Khersak carpets.
These carpets were woven in various villages of Ilam such as Dare Shahr.
During the past decades the province encountered economical problems in its agriculture and animal husbandry.
As a result, the producers switched to a new weaving style. Gradually, the fine delicate carpets have emerged and ft)und an outstanding status in the carpet market. Such carpets have strong connections with Qom, Isfahan, and Tabriz output. This essential shift has not only been the result of the state assistance, but the effort and support of Qom investors and manufacturers.
Indeed, the pattern, weaving style, construction, and coloring of modern Ilami carpets are very similar to elegant and luxurious pieces made in Qom. This similarity is to the extent that in most cases they are referred to as rivals to perfect and superb Qom weavings and are frequently referred to as "Excellent Qomn Weavings" by carpet traders.
Their stitch may reach between 45 to 60 knots per 6.5 centimeters in the width. In carpet sizes, pieces with small area such as zaronim, or 6 square meters are more common. Although, cotton warps and wefts arc used, silk application not only as warps and wefts, but as pile is an essential structural feature. An imp ortant element of the Ilami style is the coloration with its emphasis on cream and light red.
Moreover, an enormous range of designs is made including medallion and corner, allover, vase, and tree patterns. The fast weaving capability of carpet producers is one of the most important characteri stics which has attracted carpet dealers and producers. This focus, in turn, has been a great help to carpet industry dev elopment of the region.
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