The province of Khorasan has long been
renowned for its carpets. Khorasan today is the northeastern
province of Iran, but, under the Persian Safavid dynasty in
the 16th and 17th centuries, it also encompassed the cities
of Merv in modern-day Turkmenistan and Herat in modern-day Afghanistan.
Travelers in that era remarked upon the fine Khorasan carpets
sold in the Persian Gulf port of Hormuz and in one of the main
caravansaries in Isfahan. Cities in Khorasan, such as Sabzavar,
Herat, Mashhad, Dorokhsh, and Sarakhs, are also cited as sources
of fine carpets. Herat and Mashhad, in particular, are associated
with specific types of carpets, but it is not clear exactly
where these or any Khorasan carpets were made. Some of these
cities may have been commercial centers where carpets were sold,
rather than carpet-weaving centers.