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2004/136/6 Saddle bag, pile weave, wool, by a Basiri woman, Khamseh Federation, southern Iran, 1900-1910. Click to enlarge.

Saddle bag by Basiri women

This richly colourful wool saddle bag from the Fars area of southern Iran (then Persia), is part of a donated collection of eight carpets and trappings representing the main nomadic carpet-producing regions of Asia, from western Turkey across Iran into Central Asia.

The saddle bag, which is in characteristic form with two pockets opening to the centre, was woven by a woman of the Basiri tribe, a small group within an area formed as the Khamseh Federation by the Persian government in the …


Object No.


Object Statement

Saddle bag, pile weave, wool, by a Basiri woman, Khamseh Federation, southern Iran, 1900-1910

Physical Description

Saddle bag, wool, pile weave, made by a Basiri woman, Khamseh Federation, southern Iran, 1900-1910

The wool saddle bag is rectangular with two pile weave pockets open to the centre. The face of each pocket has been knotted in wool on a wool warp with fastenings woven in weft-float brocade. The reverse side is plain weft-face weave with a wide band of narrow stripes across the centre. The design on both pocket faces are the same: in the centre is a hooked diamond medallion design with filler motifs scattered over the deep blue field. The meandering border is geometric in design. The colours are deep and rich reds, blues and yellow.


No marks



780 mm



Made by a woman of the nomadic Basiri tribe in the Fars region of southern Iran, this saddle bag consists of two separate faces, knotted in wool, and joined on the front by fastening panels woven in weft-float brocade. The back of the bag is weft face striped flatweave, made on the same loom as the pile bag faces.

In weft-float brocade, coloured supplementary wefts are introduced into a plain-weave ground. They are not continuous from selvedge to selvedge and are only used in that portion of the weaving where a given colour is required. This results in a pattern which is slightly raised above the woven surface. The term float-weave refers to the fact that these supplementary wefts 'float' at the back of the rug.



This saddle bag comes from the private collection of the donor, Dr George Soutter. It is part of a collection of eight nomadic carpets, rugs and trappings given to the Powerhouse Museum to acknowledge the achievements of the Oriental Rug Society of NSW, an affiliated society of the Museum, to emphasise the significance of the Museum's rug collection and to encourage its growth. The collection is representative of many of the purposes for which rugs and trappings are made, including floor coverings and tent partitions, horse decorations and saddle bags.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Dr George Soutter, 2004

Acquisition Date

8 October 2004

Cite this Object


Saddle bag by Basiri women 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 29 July 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Saddle bag by Basiri women |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=29 July 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}