Zollanvari carpets embody the spirit of carpet design and weaving – an extraordinary art form that has been treasured across the world for more than 2,000 years. This profound understanding of the splendour and profusion of the weaving aesthetic informs our carpet production, making it unique and timeless – qualities that have established the Zollanvari name as a global trailblazer in creating carpet art.
The story of Zollanvari began in 1947, when at a tender age Gholamreza Zollanvari joined his father’s carpet business, a legacy that had been handed down from his great grandfather. Initially he focused on the traditional products of the nomads of South Persia. Those colourful carpets with high pile, Gabbehs, were knotted only for use in homes as bedspreads and bedcovers. They were and are a vivid expression of the art and soul of the traditional weaving and aesthetic sensibility of southern Persian nomads. Appreciation and demand for Gabbehs grew over the years. Gholamreza Zollanvari began working with the Ghashgha’i and Luri nomads to start weaving new Gabbehs with more contemporary designs. In 1985 Gholamreza’s son Reza established the company in Zurich to directly access the European market. The company expanded in 1989 when the weaving began of large and room-size Gabbehs, using naturally dyed, hand-spun wool – a step now recognised as a milestone in the history of Persian weaving.
The ‘new’ Gabbehs exploded onto the world market, with fresh colours, sizes and patterns, woven to satisfy the demands of Western markets. Soon Gabbehs became synonymous with the Zollanvari name and the company’s innovative spirit. Gholamreza’s second son Hamid took over in Iran where a second centre was built close to Shiraz to house under one roof design, dyeing and warehousing. Washing, finishing, customer services and shipping were then located in Tehran.
The highest grade highland wool from the Zagros Mountains is used to weave Zollanvari carpets and flatweaves. The wool is very supple and ideal for rug making and it is traditionally hand-spun. Zollanvari have selected a blend of the finest of these fibres. Hand-carded & hand-spun wool & Vibrant natural dyes All Zollanvari products carry our Label and Warranty, which guarantee that all our carpets and flatweaves are made from hand-carded and hand-spun wool, dyed using the highest quality environmentally friendly vegetable dyes at our central headquarters in Shiraz to maintain consistent colour-quality, that they are woven by nomadic women and not children, and that each carpet is unique as each weaver has developed their own style, which can even differ from carpet to carpet. We exclusively use natural dyes made from plants collected from the immediate vicinity of the nomadic weavers. Our dyeing facility in Shiraz is second to none and is run by our Master Dyer whose knowledge and experience have been passed down to him through many generations in a family dedicated to the art of dyeing.
Our passion has always been for the artistic weavings of the nomadic people of southern Persia, where almost all our collections are woven. The art of carpet making has always exemplified the expression of a culture and a way of life, and as a result Zollanvari’s use of pattern, colour and symbolism has been constantly evolving. What sets us apart is the active encouragement our weavers are given to allow their own aesthetic sense to shine through the designs. Individual, expressive and unique carpets are the result.
The concept of a resource-efficient and sustainable production is deep rooted in our company and production tradition. We have endeavoured to revive old weaving techniques (some almost extinct) to encourage the diversity of weaving techniques and to develop new ones. Zollanvari cultivates and nurtures extensive personal relationships with various nomadic tribes in Iran. Our carpet production distinguishes itself by a sensitive regard for the traditional way of life of the nomads and their natural environment. The company participates in the construction of hospitals and maternity units for the nomadic women, financially supports the construction of water pipes and winter quarters, donates heaters, sponsors the football team of a Ghashgha’i tribe, helps widows with small pensions and small loans, supports mobile teaching units for the education of nomadic children and employs older nomads, who can no longer weave, as spinners. The best weavers are also given the opportunity to attend the fairs and events in which the company participates to display their weaving skills. The weavers are paid for the carpets according to the knot counts and quality of the weave. There are additional bonuses for especially beautiful carpets or very large ones. Wages are relatively high and allow a large degree of autonomy for the weavers. Widowed and single women can remain independent by becoming weavers and having an independent income. This empowerment goes some way toward strengthening the position of women in society.
Our washing and finishing facilities in Tehran and Jaipur are state-of-the-art. We are constantly seeking to reduce the consumption of water in the process, to decrease effluents in water from dyestuffs and thus permit easier water recycling. Every member of the Zollanvari team is dedicated to providing the very best customer care. Over and above our extensive collections, we offer a bespoke service for interior designers and architects.