Bijar (Bidjar) and its surrounding hamlets is a small agricultural town in the mountains of NW Iran which makes very heavy and hard wearing rugs, beloved in the West for their superb ageing qualities and all-round attractiveness. Their nickname is the ‘Iron Rugs of Iran’ and perhaps reflects the no-nonsense character of the inhabitants of the Bijar area- farming folk like to have something hefty and long-lasting as well as a practical floor covering that insulates against extreme cold. The vintage examples of wool piled Persian Bijar rugs are far superior in colours to the newly woven examples- and in good quality and age are my favourite rugs bar none – but they are still very good compared with much of the dross on the market. They trade heavily on their reputation and use some glaring pink, purple and green dyes which the antique versions lack. One would hope that time and use will tone down these ‘candy colours’ which the Iranians adore. The all-over design is the easiest to use in an off-centre room and furniture does not block out large design elements. Still, one of the best new rugs on the market but if you can reach for a vintage piece in good condition to obtain maximum beauty.