SHAHDAD is the latest brand by the Ashkiyoun Group, market leader in luxurious carpets over the last three decades, with stellar brands Jafarnejad in pure silk and Sahara in wool & silk, and the brainchild of the brothers Mohammad, Reza and Ali Ashkiyoun, founders of the company, whose family have been active in the carpet business for more than 140 years.
SHAHDAD combines innovative designs in on-trend colourways with the venerated craftsmanship of Ashkiyoun. In home-studios all over Iran, its artisans create enduring Persian-knotted handmade works of woven art, available in bespoke sizes and colours.
With a focus on superior quality throughout the process, SHAHDAD uses only the best natural resources – the finest wool from Persian desert and mountain sheep and the most delicate silks (yarns produced from the highest-grade cocoons imported from China) for design accents.
SHAHDAD is committed to fashioning a new chapter in client relations and purchasing experience, with tailored propositions suited to retail and private needs within an unprecedented timespan – within four months from design to finish.
With headquarters in Tehran, Iran and an international division in Düsseldorf, Germany, SHAHDAD combines the legendary Iranian carpet-weaving virtuosity with Western-style customer support, service and shipping facilities.
1 WE BELIEVE in Quality:Because we want our carpets to be the very best in the market, we only choose superior raw materials and control the production process more than any other producer in Iran, setting new standards at every stage.
2 WE BELIEVE in Tradition AND Modernity: Because we are rebels with a cause… We are bringing together the legacy of the Iranian carpet weaving tradition with the dynamic and innovative mindset of today’s globalised world.
3 WE BELIEVE in Passion: Because passion pushes you to improve continuously, to innovate and to never stop exploring. Passion creates the WOW factor.
4 WE BELIEVE in Innovation: Because we live by the Persian belief that ‘nothing is ever finished’. Each generation innovates aiming for perfection in design and weave.
5 WE BELIEVE in Diversity: Because diversity makes us look beyond ourselves… we are an international team, have production locations across the country and have a diversified design process.
6 WE BELIEVE in ‘Carpet Culture’: Because carpets are messengers of cultural exchange… every rug tells the story of people and places in Iran.
7 We believe in Heritage: Because experience and knowledge passed down generations allows us to reach new unknown frontiers… we are at this stage today due to more than 100 years of family history in the carpet business.
8 We believe in Individuality: Because we are not like other carpet producers and nor are our rugs… we revel in making things differently.
9 We believe in Social Responsibility: Because each carpet is the creation of numerous people… their devotion and passion. We use our position to influence society and the environment positively… like paying weavers fairly – above standard wages – and supporting local initiatives such as building playgrounds, etc.
10 We believe in Client Service: Because we understand that each customer is unique and hence needs a tailored information and service.
As far back as 4000 years ago Babylonia, conquered by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in 530BC, was called the ‘Land of Wool’. Today, Iran is renowned for its exceptional sheep wool, produced mainly around the deserts in the centre of the country – a wool that is ideally suited for weaving carpets due to its extraordinary strength, affirming the legendary durability of Iranian carpets.
Shahdad uses two different kinds of wool to attain the highest possible quality and suppleness. The sheep wool from Sirjan is ‘frayed’ to allow the strong desert winds to ‘blow through’ easily, a quality that enhances the colour absorption of the fibres during the dyeing process. The Kermanshah wool on the other hand is stronger and softer since the sheep need to endure the harsh mountain climate. Shahdad mixes both types of yarn to combine their unique characteristics.
Since millennia silk was traded along the length of the renowned Silk Road which stretched for almost 7,000 kilometres from China to the Mediterranean crossing through ancient Persia. The route was predated by the Persian Royal Road which ran from Susa in north Persia to modern-day Turkey and allowed Persians to become experts in silk textiles long before the fibre reached popularity in Europe.
Shahdad relies on this heritage for its silk production, as well as the twenty-seven-year long experience of the Ashkiyoun Group. Cocoons of the highest-quality are imported from China and processed in Iran. In Langarud close to the Caspian Sea workers unwind the up to one-kilometre long strands that make up the cocoon. In the desert town of Kashan, the syrupy fluid produced by the silkworm to hold the strands of silk together is removed to improve the lustre, colour and texture of the silk. The strands are then spun into yarn before being sent to the dyeing factory.
From the Natural Resources used to the final product, Shahdad carpets pass through a myriad of hands. Every individual in the process gives a piece of themselves in fashioning each carpet. And herein lies the mystic of a handmade creation.
In a dedicated dyeing plant in Kashan, the pale silk threads are dipped into huge vats of boiling dyestuff multiple times to achieve just the right shades of glossy, vivid colours – all mixed exclusively and personally by the company’s founders. Working with the Pantone colour system they have standardised the dyeing process – not common in Iran. ‘Steady-state’ European chemical dyes with a lower environmental impact are used to prevent colour-run or fading and attain the demanding standards of the Ashkiyoun Group.
The true birthplace of each carpet is the weaver’s home. Iran, as the ‘cradle of rug weaving’, is home to our multilocation workshops – from villages in the northwest surrounded by olive trees and rice paddies to those near the deserts of central Iran and to villages in the northeast with 2,000 years history of civilization… Orūmīyeh, Īlām, Khorāsān and more recently Sistan are just some of the places to mention where only the very best artisan weavers create our laborious Persian-knotted masterpieces with the simplest tools – a traditional vertical loom, a ‘hooked’ knife, a pair of scissors and a heavy comb made of metal – resulting in a higher knot-density that allows the execution of finer designs, increases the durability and decreases the ‘bulkiness’ of our carpets.
Shahdad carpets are produced in a diversity of qualities from 185,000 knots per SQM to more than 1,000,000 knots per SQM, setting us apart from other producers. A skilled weaver can produce between 8,000 and 12,000 knots during an eight-hour working day. For women, weaving carpets is an opportunity to generate income whilst still look after their children.
When the weaver completes a design the carpet is cut down from the loom. The pile is then trimmed using a semi-automatic cutter to achieve an equal pile-height across the rug surface. The minutest mistake in this step can destroy an entire carpet. The fringes are then secured and the selvedges are sewn and stabilised.
The final steps include washing, drying, straightening, trimming and any necessary touch-ups – each an art form in itself carried out under strict supervision and to the exacting standards that have become the hallmark of the Ashkiyoun Group.
Born into a wealthy merchant family in Tabriz, Nariman, grandfather of the Ashkiyoun family, initially trades in dry fruits but later adds further products, among them textiles and rugs.
Nariman’s son, Gholamali, leaves Tabriz for Tehran at the age of twelve after his father’s death. Starting a new life he holds different jobs until he marries the daughter of an affluent family in Ghom. He moves to the city of silk carpets but after a severe illness decides to trade in rugs from his hometown of Tabriz.
Gholamali’s eldest son Mohammad studies Physics but has to drop out of university as he determines to leave Iran for the USA. During this time he begins to help his father in the carpet store. While conducting his own research, he falls in love with rugs and shortly after, begins the production of silk rugs, motivated in particular by technical aspects of weaving and especially dyeing innovations. In 1991, the first Ashkiyoun carpet is born.
In the mid-1990s, Mohammad’s younger brother Reza joins the team at first helping part-time as a student. He brings his knowledge of business management into the company. Reza is now responsible for the production process.
The youngest brother of three, Ali, is the last to join the company after finishing his military service. He uses his IT skills to move the business into the digital age. Today he runs the design department for the group.
With the combined strengths of this triumvirate of brothers, the Ashkiyoun Group has exceeded all previously set standards for handwoven rugs and has become a shining example for others to follow.
In 2019, Shahdad, the latest brand created by the company was introduced to the market. Shahdad is the meeting point of Persian weaving heritage with the contemporary design world – the next generation of luxurious Persian wool and silk carpets for the interior design market.
Wettinerstraße. 19, 40547 Düsseldorf
t +49 211 55 09 96 29
f +49 211 55 09 96 28
No. 64, Moghadasi Street
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