The wonder of Sarouk rugs continues to inspire me. This weekend I found a photograph of my grandparents’ house in Boston. On the living room floor was a patterned rug that I spent hours as a child tracing with my fingers, imagining the stories from where it was made. It was the center of the house, a surface we all gathered on. When we sold grandmothers house we gifted the rug to a cousin. Many years late, when I began working in this historical and unusual field I began to understand indeed it was a magical rug.
I am sure it was from Sarouk! My question then is but from when it has left me pondering for many years. Was it a painted SarouK? Did they get it in the 50’s when they moved into that house? Did it come from my great grandmothers? There is no one left from that generation, sadly. I would believe it was a painted Sarouk from the 40’s? Where is it now? So you can see how a legend is made; So take my advice learn what you can, it will only make you want to learn even more!
Sarouk (also Saruk or Sarough) rugs are those woven in the village of Saruk and also the city of Arak, Iran and the surrounding countryside. Sarouk rugs have been produced for much of the last century. The early successes of the Sarouk rug are largely owed to the American market. From the 1910s to 1950s, the “American Sarouk” also known as the “Painted Sarouk” was produced. American customers had an affinity for the Sarouk’s curvilinear and floral designs. What they did not appreciate, however, was the color, so for much of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, rugs exported from Iran would get a dye job to a desirable, deep, raspberry-red color, once they made it to the States.
Sarouk rugs continue to be produced today, using the same methods as during early production – with the exception of the post-production dye job. Known for their exceptional quality and ability to withstand decades of wear, Sarouks continue to be a best seller of the Persian rugs. They are made with a high quality, tough wool using a Persian knot. A tell-tale sign of a Sarouk is usually its blue weft threads, salmon or tomato-red color mixed with ivory and blues, and a very traditional, floral style. The finest of the modern Sarouk rugs comes from the small town of Ghiassabad.