The History of Machine-Made Carpets in Iran: A Journey of Innovation and Competition


The history of machine-made carpets in Iran is a testament to the country’s ability to adapt and thrive in the world of textile manufacturing. This industry has a remarkable journey spanning nearly four decades, marked by innovation, competition, and evolution.

In the early 1970s, the first machine-made carpet in Iran made its debut. It was produced in Kashan velvet and silk factories, woven on jacquard velvet machines. These carpets were crafted from shiny synthetic fibers and boasted relatively short piles, making them lightweight and unique for their time. Concurrently, Iranian traders began importing carpets with similar characteristics, and in some cases, even better quality, from Belgium. This introduced Iranian consumers to the concept of machine-made carpets.

The positive reception of these machine-made carpets by the Iranian public did not go unnoticed. The Behshahr Industrial Group, a prominent name in Iranian manufacturing and investment, took the initiative to establish the Kashan Industries Company. This new entity specialized in carpet-related material production and machine-made carpets. In 1974, they unveiled their first product, a machine-made carpet that set itself apart from its predecessors. This carpet bore a striking resemblance to hand-woven carpets, particularly in terms of its wool quality, which garnered widespread acclaim.

Following this success, other companies joined the fray. Shahbaf Company, later rebranded as Gilan Carpet, as well as Pars, Moulin Rouge (Naghsh Iran), and Ekbatan Carpet companies emerged to compete in the growing machine-made carpet industry.

This period of competition and growth persisted until the end of 1978, as large carpet manufacturing companies vied with one another, and the industry flourished. However, this all changed with the Iranian Revolution, resulting in the confiscation of numerous factories, including carpet manufacturers. The new government, led by individuals often inexperienced in industrial matters, faced significant challenges in managing these industries.

Despite the challenges, 1978 saw the emergence of new machine-made carpet units. Experts in the textile and machine-made carpet industries, along with factory owners previously engaged in different textile sectors, came together to launch initiatives such as Suleiman Carpet, Mashhad Carpet, Shiraz Carpet (Denage), Mazandaran Carpets, Bastan Carpets, and Setare Kavir Carpets. These pioneers adopted machinery of the era, like Vandewiele ALD61, AL1, and TEXTIMA, marking the beginning of a transformative era for machine-made carpets in the private sector. Simultaneously, large, pre-existing factories continued operations under government oversight.

As specialists from larger factories transitioned to start-up units, a new wave of competition took shape within the private sector. However, the most significant shift in Iran’s machine-made carpet industry occurred in 1986, leading to the creation of over 1,600 small units. This surge in activity transformed Iran into a major carpet producer, currently competing at the global level.

The history of machine-made carpets in Iran showcases the nation’s resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances. It is a journey of innovation, competition, and ultimately, a thriving industry. Today, Iran stands as a prominent player in the world of machine-made carpets, contributing to the rich tapestry of the nation’s textile heritage.

The Pioneering Cities of Machine-Made Carpet Production in Iran

In the vast tapestry of Iran’s industrial landscape, machine-made carpets have woven their own unique pattern. Spread across various cities in the country, these carpet factories have become integral to Iran’s textile heritage. While machine-made carpet manufacturing is widespread, several cities have emerged as key players in this industry. Let’s explore some of the most important cities that produce machine-made carpets in Iran.

Aran and Bidgol (Kashan): The Machine-Made Carpet Capital

Aran and Bidgol, situated in Kashan, can rightly be called the machine-made carpet capital of Iran. This city hosts over 700 active units dedicated to machine carpet production, making it the epicenter of this industry. Not only is Aran and Bidgol a hub for machine-made carpets, but it also boasts the distinction of being the first major manufacturer of machine-made carpets in Iran.

Mashhad: A Hub of Carpet Production

Mashhad is another city that significantly contributes to the production of machine-made carpets in Iran. The carpet production here is not only impressive but also adds to the country’s rich carpet-making legacy.

Dilijan: A Carpet Manufacturing Hub

Dilijan is known for its remarkable presence in the machine-made carpet industry. The city’s carpet factories play a crucial role in the overall production landscape.

Yazd: Crafting Quality Machine-Made Carpets

Yazd is yet another city renowned for its involvement in machine-made carpet production. The carpets crafted here reflect the city’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

Isfahan: A Center of Carpet Excellence

Isfahan, with its historical significance in the world of carpets, naturally finds its place in the machine-made carpet production map. The city’s legacy in textile artistry extends to this modern industry.

Tehran: The Capital’s Contribution

The capital city, Tehran, also plays a significant role in the production of machine-made carpets. It adds to the diversity of styles and designs in the market.

Azerbaijan: Impressive Machine-Made Carpets

Azerbaijan, too, makes its mark in the machine-made carpet industry. The carpets produced here are known for their impressive quality and designs.

What sets Kashan apart in the history of machine-made carpets is its technological prowess. Over 80 percent of the country’s machine carpet production units, equipped with the highest level of weaving technology, are concentrated in Kashan and specifically in Aran and Bidgol. This city stands as the beating heart of Iran’s machine-made carpet production.

Today, Kashan’s carpet factories produce carpets with exceptional density, including 1200 comb machine carpets and 1500 comb machine carpets. These creations are known for their exquisite elegance, fine textures, and an uncanny resemblance to traditional handwoven carpets. The fusion of cutting-edge technology and a rich cultural heritage results in machine-made carpets that captivate both the eye and the soul.

Iran’s machine-made carpet industry is a testament to the nation’s ability to blend tradition with modernity, producing textiles that not only meet global standards but also pay homage to the country’s rich history of carpet-making. These cities, with their unique contributions, continue to weave Iran’s legacy in the world of machine-made carpets.

The Method of Producing Machine-made Carpets in IranĀ 

The Iranian carpet market boasts a remarkable array of machine-made carpets, many of which are meticulously woven using cutting-edge technology. When it comes to producing these exquisite textiles, Iran stands out as a leader in the field, utilizing the most advanced and latest machines from renowned manufacturers like Schonher in Germany and Vandewiele in Belgium. These two companies are widely regarded as some of the world’s top producers of carpet weaving machines and the finest in the realm of machine-made carpet technology.

What distinguishes Iran in the realm of machine-made carpets is its extensive use of 1500 comb weaving machines. This technology, considered the pinnacle of modern carpet production, is a testament to Iran’s progressive approach to the industry. Even Belgium, renowned for its machine-made carpets, doesn’t employ these advanced machines to the same extent as Iran.

The materials used in these carpets are as diverse as their designs. Carpets are typically crafted from acrylic or BCF (Bulk Continuous Filament) materials, and in some cases, a combination of the two. Additionally, there is a growing trend towards the use of new artificial silk fibers, specifically polyester. Notably, carpets made from 100% acrylic are prized for their superior quality and often command higher prices. However, synthetic silk carpets, due to their lack of fluff, ease of cleaning, high durability, and exceptional luster, are currently in high demand in global markets.

The combs used in the weaving process play a crucial role in defining the carpet’s texture and quality. Combs come in various densities, and these are expressed in numbers, including 350, 440, 500, 700, 1000, 1200, and the highly advanced 1500 combs. The choice of comb density influences the overall appearance, texture, and durability of the carpet.

Iran’s mastery in the production of machine-made carpets is not only a testament to its dedication to the craft but also a reflection of its commitment to innovation and quality. These remarkable textiles, produced using state-of-the-art technology, represent the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. With their intricate designs, exceptional materials, and a wide range of comb densities, Iran’s machine-made carpets continue to captivate global markets and stand as a testament to the nation’s enduring excellence in the art of carpet making.



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