The Beauty of Tribal Carpets and Rugs

If you enter a rug outlet and ask simply to look at Persian rugs, you might be surprised at the variety you are shown. There are several different types that fall under the Persian category; tribal carpets and rugs are one of them.

What does “tribal” mean? It can be interchangeable with the term “gabbeh,” which is a traditional type of Persian rug. These area rugs tend to have a lower knot count, creating a more primitive design and rougher feel than other types. Because they are simpler to make, they are some of the most affordable Persian carpets & rugs available. “Tribal” can also simply refer to the style that the design uses — if it is southwestern or primitive in design, it will be called tribal.

Although the designs may be considered primitive, they can be still be stunning. Take this eye-catching design, for example:


Persian tribal rug

This handmade rug was made in Iran, where gabbehs are very popular in the Zagros Mountain region. The simple, repetitive patterns and durable material makes this an excellent candidate to decorate your living room or dining room.

Tribal rugs can have more complex patterns as well, such as this one:persianrug4

This large area rug was also handmade in Iran. The intricate design uses many tribal symbols and imagery for a very complex and beautiful look. A perfect match for antique furniture or to bring together one of the rooms in your home.

Reds, purples and creams are common colors you’ll find in tribal carpets & rugs, but not every tribal rug uses them.


This simple design uses two primary colors that makes this tribal rug stand out. Made in Pakistan, this large area rug is stylistically different from the other two designs. It still incorporates tribal elements, just in a different way.

Below is another style of tribal rug that also uses blue and cream, along with a minimal amount of red.


The lighter colors in this piece create a lighter tone as well. It was made in Turkey and uses simpler tribal elements in its design.

With so many options to choose from, it can be a challenge to know what will work in your space, fit in your budget and compliment your current decor. If you need help picking southwest rugs or any other types, talk to our rug experts.

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