The history of the Persian carpet goes back even farther than that, however. At one time, carpet weaving was also a form of writing for illiterate tribesmen; through their designs, they recorded the ups and downs and histories of their lives. Eventually, such rugs came to be used as prayer mats by Muslim believers.
Carpet weavers handed down their skills to their children, and through the generations, these skills evolved into closely guarded family secrets. Creating a carpet was an arduous task; even with multiple weavers at work, it could take months. Wool (the basic material used for a carpet) was harvested from herds of sheep, and cotton was used for the warp and weft of the carpet. In cold mountain climates, wool was finer and had longer fibers than wool from sheep living in warmer climates.
Persian rugs that originate in the province of Arak are called Sarouk rugs—Sarouk being the name of a village. The term "Sarouk rugs" generally refers to the best grade of Arak rugs. Trade names for these rugs include Feraghan, Feraghan Sarouk, Mahal, Mohajaran Sarouk, Mushkabad—now called Mahal—and Viss.
Sultanabad is the former name of the province of Arak. In the world of carpet classification, Sultanabad carpets are generally low-quality Sarouk rugs. Just imagine how much a high-quality rug would cost.