An antique Qashghai kilim, Circa 1920s. No-850238 (240x142cm)

Floor coverings are essential for a nomadic life. The people who make them are consistently on the move in search of fresh grass for their animals. Qashghai nomads move between the vast valleys of Mount Zagros and the shores of the Persian Gulf, dwelling in tents when they camp. Their tents consist of thick canvas woven from goat's hair and waterproofed with fat from sheep, which they erect on wooden poles.

They cover the floor with kilims and rugs that they make for comfort and protection. Their kilims are a fascinating reflection of their taste and love for colours. They make These pieces for their own life, sometimes as dowry items, and thus, they are not shy about using vibrant colours. They make such pieces, disregarding what the market wants but out of what they like.

They create the patterns from memory and weave on their primitive horizontal looms that consist of two wooden poles firmly fixed on the ground with spikes and stones on which the warp runs, on which the weaver sits and weaves.

The weavers hand-spin their yarn and dye them using natural sources. The one here is from the turn of the 20th century and is extraordinary for the simplicity of the pattern and the unusual colour combination."