Gabbeh carpets are a traditional variety of Persian carpet. Gabbeh is known as Gava in Kurdish and Luri and is also called Khersak in Bakhtiari. A Gabbeh is a hand-woven pile rug of coarse quality and medium size (90 x 150 cm or larger) characterized by an abstract design that relies upon open fields of color and a playfulness with geometry. This type of rug is popular among the populations of the Zagros Mountains of Iran, including Kurdish, Luri and Qashqai people. The Gabbeh is usually crafted by women.
Gabbeh carpets are much thicker and coarser than other Persian carpets; sometimes it is as much as one inch in depth. In fact, it is more of a variety of kilim than carpet. The word "Gabbeh" comes from the Persian meaning raw, natural, uncut. This is a rough and primitive carpet.
Gabbeh patterns are of a very basic kind with only a limited number of decorative, mostly rectangular objects resembling mainly animals. In Gabbeh usually bright colors, such as yellow and red, are used. Although large fields of solid color are used in Gabbeh designs, the color is variegated (the color varies throughout the rug).
Gabbehs are made of natural, handspun wool yarn and all the colors are created with natural plant dye. Due to its relative ease of production (less precise pattern, small number of knots per square centimeter, etc.) a Gabbe is one of the less expensive varieties of Persian carpet.
Gabbeh is a 1996 Iranian film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
The film gets its name from a type of Persian rug and starts by showing an elderly couple, carrying their gabbeh, walking toward the river hoping to wash their rug. When the rug is spread on the ground, a girl, referred to as Gabbeh, magically comes out of it. The film follows her story and audience learn about her family, her uncle who is hoping to find a bride, and most importantly her longing for a young man she hopes to marry.