Amir Rasty opened his store in Geneva 45 years ago. His family in Iran has been working in this field for six generations. He himself learnt to knot, repair and weave them from a very young age. And he has become a reference supplier for oriental carpets.
This passion understandably motivated him to pass on his knowledge, not only to his staff and two daughters, but also to his clients.
His two daughters, Florence (an interior designer) and Nadia, who have worked with their father for 17 years, will advise and guide you through the four floors of their store, where over 10,000 carpets are exhibited.
Manufacture and provenance of the carpets
Hand-knotted carpets nowadays are produced in the same way as centuries ago. The technique has been handed down from generation to generation. In Iran, the majority of carpets are made at home by the women.
They use the following materials:
- Lambswool for velvet and for warps and wefts, less frequently, very high quality goats wool
- Cotton for warps and wefts
- Silk for velvet and for warps and wefts sourced from silkworm cocoons
Once the material has been spun, it is dyed, mainly with natural dyes, such as saffron for the colour yellow, walnut skin for the colour brown, or even henna and madder root for the colour orange.
Moreover, one of the characteristics of nomadic carpets are the "abrash", the variations in colour arising from the fact that the weaver does not have a sufficient quantity of thread of a certain colour at the outset. A new colour bath would have to be prepared, and it would not be possible to obtain exactly the same shade. Chemical or synthetic dyes may also be used, such as, for example, mineral dyes. However, these carpets are fragile and are less resistant to the sun or repeated cleaning (washing).
The next step in the production of the carpet is the weaving loom, whether vertical or horizontal (used by nomads, hence easily transportable). The set of vertical threads, known as warp threads, are prepared. Then once a row of knots has been completed, the weft thread (transversal thread) will retighten the knots and ensure that the carpet is strong. The wefts are packed down using a comb.
There are two types of knots used by weavers:
- the Turkish knot, Ghiordes or the symmetric knot
- the Senneh, Persian or asymmetric knot
The delicacy of the knotting will be one of the criteria determining the quality of the carpet.
The great strength of our family firm, which has been in business for 45 years, lies in our direct imports. Indeed, there is no middleman, since most of our carpets come directly from Iran at competition-free prices, given that part of Amir Rasty's family live in Iran and handle the search for high quality merchandise. Furthermore, with every carpet transaction, you will be provided with a certificate of origin as well as official expertise for your insurance, certifying the authenticity, origin and quality of the carpet, since Amir Rasty is an official expert on customs and insurances.