The Safavid Dynasty was established in 1501 by Turkicized Kurds of Northwestern Iran who followed the Sufi Saffaviya religious order. The Safavids quickly consolidated much of former Timurid and Aqqoyunlu Turkmen territory into a unified state and became one of the three major powers in the Islamic world during the 16th and 17th centuries, until the Afghan Hotaki Dynasty besieged the capital of Isfahan in 1722.
The Safavid Shahs ushered in an era of unprecedented artistic richness. Artistic resources were pooled and coordinated in court workshops all over the empire, giving artists and craftsmen the ability to create works hitherto unprecedented in their sophistication.
Safavid era carpet designers were heavily influenced by Persian miniature painting. As such, the Safavid aesthetic leans away from geometric abstraction and towards an ornate, curvilinear approach to design that oftentimes features the mythical and fantastical scenes common in Persian miniatures since the Timurid era or before. The Safavid design repertoire went on to inform and inspire, in one way or another, almost the entirety of rug weaving culture for the ensuing centuries.