Gabbah is a type of carpet with a lot artistic value, prominent for its elegance. Some researchers believe this name refers to the thickness and its functionality against cold.
The diverse decorative and patterns on Gabbah soothe the soul with a peace of mind. This original Iranian art, is still an unforgettable part of our country’s history and Iran Trawell tries to help its revival more than before.
History of Gabbah
It can be said that Gabbah roots in the age of primitive man; as they first were using the skin of animals as carpets as eventually they learnt how to weave using wool of the animals and make the first gabbahs.
Gabbah is also sometimes called Khersak, which means a bear’s cub. It is made from the same material as carpets but in smaller size and longer fluffs and mostly by Nomads of Bushehr, Shiraz, Khurasan, etc. .
Fars province is the residence of clans such as Qashqai, Khamseh, and Bakhtiari and with no doubt the gabbahs made by Qashqai people is one the most outstanding gabbahs, which are even eminent abroad.
Of other centers of gabbah weaving can be mentioned Gonbadan and Cheshmeh Belqeys in Kohkiloye and BuyerAhmad province and also Borazjan and rustic areas of Bushehr province.
Texture and Features of Gabbah
The main difference between gabbah and carpet is in the length of the fluff and density of wefts. The length of the fluffs sometimes reaches one centimeter and more weft is used to weave one which gives it more softness. Gabbahs can be decorated in diverse ways because the sketching is done on the designers’ mind and there are no designs on paper. Thus the weavers perform whatever comes to their mind. This creativity provides the weavers with milions of decorations.
Gabbahs are made on carpet looms with Persian method and sometime Turkish method. The colors used to weave gabbahs are usually light colors like milky white. Goat hair is mostly used as the material. The hairs are first washed, spinned, and swayed and then used for weaving.
- Lion design: Lion pictures are one the most popular decorative among the weavers.
- Frame design: This design is mostly used by Fars and Bakhtiari weavers.
- Pool design: This design comes with a bergamot in the middle to picture a flower.
- Gol Giah (Flower) design: The picture of flowers is called Gol Giah design.
- Ilati design: The nomads are inspired by nature for this design.
- Tree design: Tree is of high value in Iranian culture and history with Cedar being a symbol of rejoice and Willow a symbol of sorrow.
- Striped design: As the name tells, the decorative are vertical stripes.
- Tangles Houses design: This design has a mystical connotation which is a picture of several houses close to each other, and implies the steps of life, from the creation to the foundation of the essence of life.
- Simple design: These gabbahs include a simple design representing simple rural life.
Machine-woven gabbahs are made with Polyester or BCF which are cheaper than Acrylic threads. Three type of threads can be used to weave gabbah:
- Acrylic threads: these threads are of the highest quality compared to other types are Acrylic gabbahs are way more expensive.
- Polyester threads: Weavers usually use this type of thread which comes with a more reasonable price.
- BCF threads: This type of thread has a lower quality and is cheaper. This one is also used a lot to weave a gabbah.
Old and New Gabbahs
In past, weavers used to use sheep wool and goat hair which were mostly white, black, or grey. If the weavers were in a good mood, they used white and if they were depressed, they used black and grey colors. Eventually, weavers gave more diversity to their designs using natural colors. Sometimes chemical colors are used to color the wool.
Machine-woven gabbahs are inspired by hand made gabbahs with a small difference that they come with much lower price. Nowadays tons of machines and computers and softwares are utilized for weaving high-quality gabbahs.
Gabbah has a life as long as mankind’s. This woven product, is respected in all over the world. Most nomads think of gabbah weaving as their ancestral art and are proud of it. Gabbahs come in diverse colors, designs, and sizes. The main difference between old gabbahs and the recent ones is in their colors. Natural and chemical colors have given them much more elegance.
Knowledge about Iranian culture and industries can help us revive them. Modernizing the ancient arts can improve the sales and open new horizons to our industries and art. We, at IranTrawell, are proud to be a part of this movement.