SAFAVIEH RUGS, PAST AND PRESENT
Safavieh is that singular transition from middle Asia to the New Land that can be compared to any major new cultural discovery. People in both the old and the new world had always been aware of Persian rugs as things that the common man could only dream of while the extremely rich could afford to step on with consummate negligence. But there was a gap – created mainly by lack of means – that also did not bring the middle Asian land closer to the common occidental man, and things of luxuries from these lands remained just that – luxuries; until the arrival of manufacturers like Safavieh Rugs with their exquisite and authentic rug creations.
Safavieh was a great name even in the land of the carpet masters; established in 1914 in the capital of Persian rug manufacturing, the company quickly became a famous brand in that land of famed area rug brands. In 1978, after two generations of slow and steady goodwill hunting, it was time to expand to larger shores, and the family decided to move business to the United States.
In those days in New York City, there were few authentic Oriental rug manufacturers. There were, of course, indigenous American rugs that were mostly machine made in Axminster, and though these were good, they did not have that ethnic touch that only a master from Persia could create. Safavieh opened up its factory in the city and decided to give the American area rug market just that cost effective but authentic Persian touch it needed to come of age.
In the last 30 some years, the Safavieh brand has won award after award for its exquisite area rug collections, and has taken the area rug market by storm by regularly bringing out imperishable designs and works of art in some of the finest collections of area rugs ever designed by any single manufacturer. Its area rugs collections range from antiques and reproductions of original classics to the most modern and contemporary outlooks. Safavieh designs a wide range of transitional and accent rugs of both Oriental and contemporary designs: wool, hand-tufted Classics, Shaw Hampton and Soho contemporaries that are of beguiling design and taste. Safavieh also produces a variety of rug designs from American Country styles and 19th and early 20th Century European Art, as well as high end imitations of tribal rugs from middle Americas. At any time, Safavieh has over 450 designs in 8 different styles and sizes that are ready to be shipped to any continental customer- hooked, tufted, Gabeh, flat weave, Tibetan, hand knotted vegetable dyes and silk and wool rugs of breathtaking variety and beautiful design.
The rug collections of Safavieh range from the “A” of Agra to the “Z” of Ziegler Mahal. There are the traditional rug collections from Aspen, Ancient weave, Dynasty, Empire and others, that remind the connoisseur of age old middle eastern themes and other equally hoary themes from Europe. Then there are the contemporary area rugs – Berkeley, Bohemian, Chelsea, Manhattan and Wilton, those that have that strangely modern mixture of abstractionism and impressionism that creates an avante garde look and appearance in both the area rug and its setting. Finally there is the transitional – Anatolia, Bergama, Ganges River, Jewels of India and Marrakech – that, as the name implies, provides a smooth transition from the ancient to the modern.
All these rugs are manufactured in one of the many available processes – hand knotted, hand hooked, hand tufted, hand woven, machine made and shag rugs. Each of these processes has its own typical texture and style that differs considerably from its brethren. Yet all these various construction types and styles coalesce together to form the brand of Safavieh area rugs that is commonly bound by the threads of exquisite attention to detail and ethnic authenticity.