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Lylyan/Lilihan Rugs and Carpets Persian Rugs Guide

Antique Lilihan Persian Rug 43367 with salmon background and dark border courtesy of the Nazmiyal CollectionmNew York City's leading Dealer of Antique Oriental Rugs


Lilihan is in what used to be called the Kemereh district. In the US Lilihan is the common term for the rugs of the region. It is less well known in Europe. Other major producers in the region include Khomeine and Reihan. The rugs are in the Hamadan weave and use the Symetrical knot.

The Lilihan area produces a wide range of sizes from Mats to large room size carpets. In my parents home they had a magnificent Lilihan that was about 24 feet long. The rugs tend to be similar to Sarouk carpets. in color style and thickness. Lilihans tend to have longer pile which was attractive to the American Market. Some of the old ones from before WWII were painted as were Sarouks I do not see them around very often anymore.

Antique Lilihan Persian Rug 43841 palm motif with vine border
Antique Lilihan Persian Rug 43367 with salmon background and dark border
Antique Lilihan Persian Rug 43998 striking blue background with floral motif

Lylyan/Lilihan Rugs and Carpets Persian Rugs Guide  Lilihan is in what used to be called the Kemereh district. In the US Lilihan is the common term for the rugs of the region. It is less well known in Europe. Other major producers in the region include Khomeine and Reihan. The rugs are in the Hamadan weave and use the Symetrical knot.

Hamadan weave.

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Lilihan Carpet C. 1900

Thick attractive rugs made by Armenians in Iran. These rugs are related to Sarouk rugs but are made with sturdy single wefted construction.

How Armenians got to Lilihan
In the sixteenth century Persia was a divided region between various powers. For much of  the 16th the Ottoman empire controlled Persia either militarily or as a vassal state and the eastern border fluctuated by the wars with the Timurids, Uzbeks, Turkmen, and Mughals. Finally in the closing years of the century Abbas Safavi called Abbas the Great finally slipped the bounds of Turkish control and established what we know as modern Persia. One of the keys to his foreign and domestic policy involved moving ethic groups around like Chess pieces on a board. The Safavi were a Turkmen IL when they started. This led to continuing political instability with the aymaqs (tribes) acting as independent nation states to the detriment of the Safavi monarchy. The way Abbas solved this problem was a 3 fold effort.

A.  Break up the most troublesome aymaqs. The Afshar who were a particularly troublesome aymaq were spilt up into many areas including many who were sent to Kerman.

B. Replace the problematic Turkomen with troops drawn primarily from groups loyal to the Monarchy rather than a tribe, Troops were drawn from the Caucasus, and the Kurds who were loyal and open to using muskets.

C, Pay for the effort by moving the Armenians into the interior of the country and helping them in business. The classical carpets of Isphahan were Armenian and the leading traders were Armenian. One innovation was grants to Armenian Merchants that in effect made them partners with the crown.

The return to Armenia

In the mid to late 1940s the Soviet Government encouraged the return of Armenians to Soviet Armenia. At that point many of the Armenian families sold off their property and returned to theitr traditional homeland.

  • Also Khumayn, Homein

  • Khomaine, Lilihan and Reihan [produce single weffted Persian Carpet that tends to look much like a Lilihan or a village version of a Sarouk carpet. They use the symmetrical knot.

  • Khumayn, is about 80 km south by southeast from Arak going towards Vist and 160 kilometres to the southwest of Qum

  • http://www.spongobongo.com

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