My name is Ahmad Hazegh
If I am home in Esfahan, Iran, you will probably find me with my son
Hamid at our Carpet Shop in the Bazaar surrounding Nagash e Javan
Square. My shop is just north of the entry to the Ali Qapu
Palace, on the left. It is called
I may not be in Esfahan. Often I am out searching for exceptional
carpets in the Nomadic areas of Iran. I prefer Nomad carpets,
since the patterns and color choices come from the weaver’s head,
not from a design planned by someone else. In the picture
above I am holding a Baluchi Nomad Carpet.
I did not grow up in the Carpet Business. In high school I
studied mathematics, and my father hoped that I would become a
doctor. He was a traveling medical assistant, and enjoyed his
work very much.
When I was about to leave high school, he took me on one of his trips
into the country so that I would learn about his work. We went out into
a nomadic area, traveling most of the way by motorbike, and later on
When we reached the encampments, I followed my father as he treated
those needing medical attention, but my heart was not in his
work. Instead I became fascinated with the carpets, and the
creative designs which the master weavers could produce.
When we returned to Esfahan I told my father that I intended to go into
the carpet business. He was both dubious and disappointed, but he
encouraged me to try.
I had a little money, so I went to the bazaar, and found a very nice
carpet which I managed to buy at a good price. I worked hard to
sell that carpet, and eventually sold it for twice what I had
paid. Then I did what any new carpet merchant should do – I
bought two more carpets, and sold them.
That is how I started, and now I have a display room on the square, and
many more carpets in a sales room on the lower floor of the Carpet
Bazaar, not far away. There I have both city carpets, with their
planned designs, and the Nomad Carpets which I display with pride.
My father had shown me how to reach the nomads, and though I am not
doing his work, I am in some ways following in his footsteps. In
the early spring I travel into the Nomad lands, searching for
carpets. I travel by truck as far as possible, then on foot with
donkeys to carry the loads. I know very good weavers in many
places, and do my best to select their finest carpets.
I help them with their work, also. I recall visiting a Nomad
encampment once in Baluchistan in which the carpets were beautiful, but
the colors were not as vivid as they could be. I brought them
some dyes from Esfahan, and helped them find other natural dyes which I
had learned of from other nomads. Now their carpets are
exceptional, and they often save their best for me when I come
When I have found good carpets, I load them on the donkeys and carry
them back to the road. It is still a long way to Esfahan, and the
carpets still need more work before they will be ready for my
shop. They will have a long and irregular nap, the shape needs
adjusting, and the wool needs washing both to clean it and to make the
We have workers in the Bazaar who prepare the carpets for sale. If you
come to my shop, I shall give you a tour of that operation. There are
weavers who can fix any defects, and improve the edges. Others will
shave the carpet to give it a uniform thickness, pull it into a precise
rectangular shape, and wash and iron it. By the time a carpet
reaches my shop, many hands have been involved in its creation.
So come and see Hamid and me at Paradise Carpets. If we are not
too busy we can give you a tour of the preparation area, from the
grindstone that grinds the natural materials into dyes, to the final
product. Afterwards I’ll show you my favorite carpets, and
tell you where they come from.
Hamid and Pictures of his father at work
If you are truly adventurous, perhaps you can join me on a trek into the Nomad country.
I hope to see you soon.
Nagash e Javan Square