Qashqa’i is the name of the biggest and the most populated immigrant, tent-dweller tribe of iran who have chosen the ancient land and strong government of Achamedian dynasty for their tribal life. The world fame of the Qashqa’ies is indebted to their excellent hand-wovens, especially qashqa’i carpet. Although the social and historical background of the Qashqa’ies has kept their name and memory everlasting in Iran history, it is the Qashqa’i carpet which has recorded their name in the world history of civilization. – The first group of the Qashqa’ies was present in Fars province since early 15″ century, and after the unity of the different sects of the Qashqa’ies, who gradually and slowly migrated southward Iran, the Qashqa’i tribe obtained its independent entity at the end of the Safavid era (17 th century). The economical and social basis and foundation of Qashqa’i tribe is established on animal husbandry and tribal annual migration between the cold and warm places. The tribe covers the several hundred kilometer distance of the dry and buring highlands of the warm slopes of the Zagross range up to the green full of water heights of this range to find grass to feed the sheep. – The weaving techniques, raw materials and the tools The hand-woven articles of the Qashqa’ies, greatly vary both in type (i.e. rug, tapestry, Gabbeh, Jajim etc…) and in design, and the main responsibility of this production is carried by the tribes women. The most original Qashqa’i rug is the one which its warp, weft and are made of hand- spined wool of the tribes sheep and is colored by the Sahara plant and flowers and after putting the warp on the loom, it is woven according to the weavers own designs, plans and patterns. Of course, because of the recent changes in the life and possibilities of the tribe to provide the raw material, – using cotton warp and weft is well popular. Most of the looms used to weave Qashqa’i rugs belong to the horizontal loom group and due to constant immigration and movement of the tribe and the difficulty of moving around the rug looms, the Qashqa’i carpets tend to be less than 6 square meters. Qashqa’ies weave rugs in two types: offset warp and semi-offset warp. Most of the knots are asymmetric (persian knot). The symmetric knot (Turkish knot) is also popular among them.Two wefts are used after each row of knots. The most important plant colors used in the carpet, belongs to the red-family color.The color is provided from madder root and has a spectrum of pink to black purple. The doughi color which is widely used by the Qashqa’ies is produced by soaking the skein, which are
colored by madder, in yoghurt drink . The bright torquise color and the shining dark-blue which belong to blue family, and are obtained by indigo, add special advantage to the Qashqa’i rugs. Green color, provided by composing yellow and blue colors, is also used in Qashqa’i carpet.The uncolored, white sheep wool is used for white parts of the carpet. Design, pattern and color .The Qashqa’ies, like all other weavers of persia, use more motifs and traditional designs which date back to ancient years of Achsminid, Arsacide and the sasanid, which were more popular in fars region.Of course, because of repeated encamping and immigrations, and coming to a wide variety of designs in other belongings of daily life, new ideas have been added to the traditional designs and, gradually, some of these designs are developed. Therefore, through combination of old and new figures, new ideas have emerged and have been used in the design. The Qashqa’ies use a very wide variety of designs most of which are woven without referring to a printed design and just from weavers memory. The designs of Qashqa’i carpet include two main groups: with The first group which has been woven since years ago one single design with a little change. In this group the designs are subjectively woven. therefore there are no specific order and symmetrical weaving is refrained except in the medallions and margins. The second group includes the designs that have orderly, continuos and relatively symmetrical patterns. Most of these designs are inspired by other tribal arts and have turned in to tribal weavers styles. In this group the weaver’s imagination is well materialized in the realm of the colors. The famous Nazem design is a well example of this group. The medallion, nazem, prayer – nich, repeated in and out fish, paisley designs are most popular Qashqa’i ones. The main and original medallion Qashqa’i shape is almond and the round square medallion is rearly seen. The medallions are usually in odd numbers in the carpet: three, five, and seven are among different designs. The characteristic symbol of Qashqa’i medallion is one which stands in the middle of the medallion and is similar to a reversed four – armed creeper with symmetrical head and tail. This is in a way that it can be considered as the exclusive logo of Qashqa’i rug.