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Sarouk Rugs and the American Sarouk
Sarouk is in the Markazi State, in Iran which is highlighted in the map above.
Sarouk is also spelled Sarough , Sarouq , Saruk , Saruq , and Saroogh.
In the second half of the 19th century, a huge market was created for Persian
carpets in  Europe and in the US. Many merchants bought the old and antique
Persian rugs from allover Iran and exported them to other countries. They used the
city of
Tabriz in northwest Iran to export these antiques to Europe via Arzerum in
Turkey. Some merchants also used the southern ports on the Persian Gulf to export
Persian rugs to the US by ship. By the later decades of the nineteenth century,
probably around 1880, the supply of these fine antique rugs from Persia was on the
low side. Therefore, many of the merchants from Tabriz decided to establish
workshops in
Sultanabad to produce rugs based on the western demand. This
region had a fine carpet weaving tradition and was a perfect place to set up looms
and rug workshops.
Sarouk, is a village located 30 miles north of the city of
Sultanabad (today called Arak). Sarouk is famous for weaving very heavy body
carpets.

To meet the rising demand in the west for Persian rugs, the British-Switzerland
company of “
Ziegler & Co.” opened its office in Tabriz in 1878 and in Sultanabad
in 1883. The first World Oriental Carpet Exhibition of 1891 in Vien and another one
London in 1892, created  a rising demand for Persian rugs in the west and other
foreign companies such as British-Italian “Nearco Castelli Brothers” in Tabriz, and
“Eastern Rug Trading Company of New York” established their branches in 1909 in
Tabriz and later in
Kerman. Atiyeh Brothers of Oregon, USA also established their
weaving facilities in
Kerman after the turn of the century.

Of these cities,
Sultanabad and surrounding towns and villages such as Sarouk,
Farahan, Lilian and  few others were the most famous in the US. After establishing
the offices and branches of  foreign companies, the designs were created based on
the customers tastes and demand and a new types or Persian rugs were produces.
The kind of rugs today called
Ziegler, or Sultanabad were produced from early
years of the 20th century with the designs and color combination that Americans
liked. There are many of them which are called the
American Sarouk. Their colors
look kind of dark or dirty pink. They have overall designs with no medallion or a very
small floral medallion.
Typical American Sarouk, courtesy of spongobongo.com