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Flying Carpets of Iran

A Persian carpet (Middle Persian: bōb, Persian: فرش‎ farsh, meaning "to spread"; sometimes قالی qālī) is an article of elegance made for trade, to garnish homes, Mosques, and palaces. The art of weaving elaborate designs has carried on for generations and still persists today. One particular carpet of interest are the flying carpets of Iran.

Throughout the vast region of nations that make rugs, also known as the “rug belt”, only the Persians have mastered the unique art of adding flight to their carpets, and thus are the most sought out.

In 2010, the “traditional skills of flying carpet weaving” in Kashan and Abyaneh were noted in the UNESCO Unique Artifacts Heritage Lists.”

HISTORY

The traditional art of weaving remains unknown to historians, but cave paintings are scattered throughout the caves of the Isfahan Province. Traditional weaving styles of non-flying rugs are typically done using the “flat weaving” or “loop weaving” style. However, to animate a carpet into flight, the weaver, called a magâunô, incorporates a Zurvanic weaving style. In modern day Iran, only Safavid craftsman practice the art of Zurvanic and their secrets are well guarded by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The earliest of the flying carpets, known as the Pazyryk carpet was excavated in 1949 from the grave of statesman living in a remote region of Siberia. This statesman started his career as the chief trader and diplomat for the Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD).