|Isfahan produces what are arguably the most consistently fine wool pile carpets made anywhere in the world today. Isfahani carpets are among the most wanted in world markets with many customers in Western countries.
They usually have symmetrical and balanced designs. By far the most popular design is based on a central medallion (derived from the famous mosque of Shah Lutf Allah in Esfahan) set against an elegantly sculpted field decorated with an intricately purling vine palmette and floral motifs. Contemporary Isfahans are extremely attractive, and the subduing of the colors, particularly the elimination of strong reds, makes them more compatible with Western decor.
Isfahan carpets are knotted on either silk or cotton foundations, with up to 400 Persian knots per square inch, using exceptionally good quality wool for the pile, which is normally clipped quite low. In these carpets, technical perfection is generally considered of greater importance than artistic flair.
The Iranian city of Isfahan (also spelled Esfahan) has long been a center for production of Persian carpets. Weaving in Isfahan flourished during the Safavid era. But when the Afghans invaded Iran and ended the Safavid dynasty in 1722, the craft became stagnant until 1920s when it flourished again.