History of Sarouk Rugs
Sarouk and the surrounding area is one of many rug making villages in Iran. The rugs that come out of this area are named after the village as is the case with most other villages or towns that produce rugs in this region. The village is located in central Iran in the province of Markazi. Sarouk rugs are made in workshop settings as well as villagers making them in their homes. Sarouk rugs in general have a reputation for being made of very high quality and are very attractive. In fact, antique Sarouks are some of the most sought after and valuable rugs to have. They are made with the asymmetrical knot and use high quality wool pile and a cotton foundation. The weft yarns of a Sarouk will be a distinct blue. The pattern of these rugs can either be curvilinear or geometric. These traditional Sarouks will also hold their value very well.
These rugs became so popular that not only can you buy a traditional sarouk but now you can buy an American Sarouk as well. The traditional designs consist of popular motifs such as herati, boteh, and gul hannai. You may also see what is called serabend, which is made up of small repeating botehs. These motifs are floral and can be in an all over pattern or in a medallion layout. When you see them in the medallion layout the medallion can be a hexagon, oval, diamond, round, or angular.
The American Sarouk became very popular after World War I. These designs consist of non-connecting floral sprays that come out from a medallion in the center of the rug. There can be delicate stems, leaves, buds, and flowers weaving through the fine floor covering. Similar to modern Kerman rugs these American Sarouks can sometimes have an open field or background. The rug weavers in this region also make prayers rugs and they tend to be made more like the American Sarouks.
Some Sarouks are also referred to as Jozan Sarouks since they resemble rugs produced in the town of Jozan. These rugs are generally produced for the European market and are recognizable by a medallion design that is intertwining.
Traditionally the main colors used in these rugs consisted of red, blue, olive, burnt orange, and champagne. These colors are soft and rich. American Sarouks generally use vibrant reds and blues along with a bright salmon pink. Then they use light subtle colors such as light reds, yellows, and turquoise which help to create a contrast from the motifs and the background. An interesting fact about the salmon pink color is that it is made by adding yogurt or some kind of curdled milk to the dye. This salmon color has long been a favorite of Americans and is one reason why these American Sarouks are so popular in the United States. After the popularity of the American Sarouk skyrocketed then other rug producing countries copied this design and now it is also made in China, India, and Romania.