Date set for new recruits
ossein Rezvani is aiming to revolutionise the Persian rug industry by blending techniques honed over thousands of years with modern technology,
Born into an Iranian family in Germany, his business involves digitally designing complex patterns then overseeing a team of Isfahan weavers who typically spend seven months painstakingly working to make the carpets a reality.
7DAYS caught up with Rezvani as he displayed his latest collection at the Iwan Maktabi gallery in Dubai Mall. Some of the collection will also be on display for several weeks at the Salsali Private Museum in Al Quoz.
Rezvani launched his brand in Dubai in 2009 with 19 carpets and 25 weavers.
He now employs more than 500 and produces about 500 rugs every year.
He said: “We’ve taken the traditional Persian design, and given it a contemporary twist. You can still recognise that it’s Persian, it still has traditional elements,” said Rezvani. “But there has to be innovation in any field.”
He added: “Our carpets are made with one million knots per sqm, so a two-by-three, six sqm carpet is made by six million knots, by hand. That to me is really unique, like a piece of art. “It’s fashion for floors.” Despite the digital design, the later stages are complex and traditional, including the dyeing process for the fabric.
Then, 2,000 man hours go into the creation of a sole six sqm carpet, with two weavers knotting by hand over seven months, working up to five hours each day. Rezvani said his break for traditional design has not been without controversy in his industry.
He said: “Mainly everyone loves it. But you do have a few traditionalists who say ‘listen, this is not the way Persian carpets should be made’.
“I faced those reactions in the beginning a lot, with traditional Persian purists who said ‘This is not the way to do it’.
“But now more and more are understanding the modern twist and also seeing a need for innovation.
“Times are changing, shattering this old way of thinking and dogma, and people are growing more open minded.
“The main focus of any product is, if it has soul and history, even if innovated, it’s always important to keep its roots.”
Mohamed Maktabi, CEO of Iwan Maktabi, which retails the carpets from Dhs48,000 for six sqm at Dubai Mall, said there remains huge demand for the items from UAE residents.
He said: “Carpets are not just covers for floors. Carpets have an artistic value.” The UAE National Service and Reserve Authority has announced it will begin training the recruits of its seventh batch on January 7. The authority has urged citizens who have not yet completed their registration or undergone the medical check up, to contact their local recruitment centre to complete the procedures. Twelve months of national service for Emirati men is compulsory and must be carried out before aged 30. It is voluntary for women, but many have signed up in the past 18 months. It is also voluntary for men aged 30-40. The profile of the UAE Armed Forces has risen significantly since troops and aircraft were sent to Yemen to support the ousted government against the Houthi rebel group.
DETAIL: Rezvani inspects materials for his collection