Tabriz is the capital city of the province of Azerbaijan in North-West Iran. The city was founded by the Harun al-Rashid approx. in the year 800. Since the 17th century Tabriz is probably the most significant carpet-production-center of Iran. The finer Tabriz production is considered the best Persian productions in terms of quality and design. In order to determine the fineness of a Tabriz, the term "raj" is being used which means "row of knots". The number of knots or "raj" is counted within the range of 2,76 inch (7 cm) which again is the unit of one "Gereh". "Tabriz 50 raj" therefore means, that within 2,76 inch (7 cm) there are 50 knots. This rug therefore has an average fineness of 300 knots/inch˛ (ca. 465,000 knots/m˛).
This Tabriz 50 raj has a "Herati" or "Mahi" design (has its origin in Herat, ca. 16th century, short for "Mahi to Hos" meaning "fish in the pond"). A rosette is surrounded by a rhombus which is again surrounded by four bent leaves. The name "Mahi" meaning "fish" was given to this design because the leaves resemble swimming fish.
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