Many people in Iran have invested their whole wealth in Persian carpets – often referred to as an Iranian’s stock and shares – and there are underground storage areas in Tehran’s bazaar that are full of fine specimens, kept as investments by shrewd businessmen. The element of luxury with which the Persian carpet is associated today provides a marked contrast with its humble beginnings among the nomadic tribes that at one times wandered the great expanse of Persia in search of their livelihood. Then, it was an article of necessity to protect the tribes from the bitterly cold winters of the country.
But out of necessity was born art...
Through their bright colors and magical designs, the floor and entrance coverings that protected the tribesmen from the ravages of the weather also brought gay relief to their dour and hardy lives. In those early days the size of the carpet was often small, dependent upon the size of the tent or room in which the people lived.
Besides being an article of furniture, the carpet was also a form of writing for the illiterate tribesmen, setting down their fortunes and setbacks, their aspirations and joys. It also came to be used as a prayer mat by thousands of Muslim believers. Thus began a process of fathers handing down their skills to their sons, who built on those skills and in turn handed down the closely guarded family secrets to their offsprings.