Shiraz is the capital city of the province of Fars, from which the word Persia derives, in southwestern Iran. Today it is a dominant market city and historically its roots extend back to neolithic times. The carpets which come to market as Shiraz are woven and knotted by weavers from the tribes of predominantly Kurdish or Turkic root which live in the region near the city. The most prominent of these are the Qashqai. While the Qashqai weave distinctly tribal rugs for their own use some of the Shiraz seen today are village rugs, woven specifically for commerce. There are also carpets called Shiraz from groups formerly in the Khamseh confederation as well as Lori, Afshar, Bakhtiari and even Baluch.
These rugs are beautifully geometric and most often full of randomly placed birds, animals and plants. Their field grounds are fully worked, covered in balanced and asymmetrical patterns with barely an inch left uncovered. Often there are as many as ten borders which add a great beauty and elegance to these very lively works of art. One can never tire looking at a good Shiraz as there are always new patterns emerging into view.