Oriental Rugs

Area Rugs from Kashan

Weaving craft has an old history in the city of Kashan; on Safavieh era textures, clothes and scarves of Kashan were famous in all around Iran; also a courtier workshop was established in this city for weaving area rugs. Many rugs in both kinds of illustrated and delicate in small sizes and also plonzi rugs with shirdi needle were woven in this workshop. By Safaviyeh dynasty fall it seemed that rug weaving in kashan was stopped. Even if it is not possible to detect that the rugs of Kashan related to eighteenth century or first decades of the nineteenth century, it is guessable that rugs weaving on that era was not stopped and at least weaving were done at houses. On the other hand there is no way to give an explanation for resumption rate of work of Kashan workshops, that these workshops had pioneer situation in production on second half of nineteenth century and had assigned themselves an especial rank in quality of production in all around of Iran. Among the effective and important factors on this reproduction of Kashan rugs, a weaver or merchant named Haji Mola Hasan Mohtasham can be mentioned, despite the lack of accurate resources and information, his delineation and personality  has been the topic of literature related to rug and local fables. For finding answer of imagination and hypothesizes, can achieve an accurate information by rugs that the weaver’s name or workshop (Haji Mola Hasan Mohtasham) has been woven on them. Among these rugs there are two silk rugs and most of other rugs are related to early nineteenth century. This issue confirms that Mohtasham was a famous master from Kashan that had lots of activity between years 1830 to 1880; later, Mohtasham workshop is managed by his son. Any way a group of delicate rugs woven in Kashan, are known as Mohtasham in American and European markets; but actually it was a commercial title and on stream there are only few rugs that name of Mohtasham is truly woven on them. In Kashan, besides he, lots of skilled masters had activation.

During twentieth century, most demand for Kashan Persian rugs from inside and outside of the country, caused the downturn of the quality level and originality of designs but anyway valuable rugs were also woven that was close to old Iranian tradition and style. These rugs with asymmetric knot and on a cotton yarn warp were woven. The knot compression was usually between 1600 to 8000 knots in each square of decimeter. In these rugs, weft crosses among wates twice, on second time crosses limp and usually is in cobalt-blue color that is totally visible in the backside of the rug. The wool used in these rugs is bought from Kermanshah or Azerbaijan and has perfect quality. Mostly downy wool is used. Sometimes silk is used instead of cotton yarn in warp and wool in pile; by Safaviyeh era silk rugs were produced in Kashan and also nowadays the silk with high delicacy is used in texture. The special property of some of the old Kashan rugs is that have embossed design and known as “Souf” and there is silk used in texture, while the background is woven by simple texture of warp and waft. In Kashan  souf rugs, that sometimes golden or silver wefts are used like it’s seen in rugs “kord needle” related to Safavieh era.

Metallic strings are twisted too slim on delicate silk strings. Another Kashan rugs property that is mostly seen at the both sides of the rug, is woven base that is used with two strings of fiber in design and those used colors are fixed in design.

Nowadays, only chemical colors are used but there was a time that Kashan area rugs were famous because of the beauty of the red color used in background that was gained from a cochineal insect. Today the red color is also the most used color in the background and usually is placed next to the blue color of the margins and bergamot. Also there are samples of Kashan rugs that have light colors: cream, beige and an especial shadow of gray-green color that is called “elephant green” in local dialect.

These rugs sizes are so variable and side rugs and kelgi are woven rarely. According to tradition designs, the bergamot pattern is used: at the center of the background a circular or stretched sun pattern is placed that has several parts and two appendixes are seen on its both sides. The corners have curvatures and have a design like Quran frame design. The background has a flowering pattern and massive with bent pedicles and apple and ShahAbbasi flowers. Sometimes bergamot pattern replaced to flowering patterns in busy background and an old vaqvaq tree pattern is used in it that was a part of favorite traditional designs in Safavieh and Mogul rugs.

In Kashan area rugs, vaqvaq has meandrous branches that animal heads or huge creatures placed on them rather than having a form like a tree. This design can also be in margins too. Another decorative design that mostly is seen in Kashan rugs, is the used design in prayer mates that has worked a lot on it and there are several trees and also picture of animals seen in its sanctuary.

At last, it is needed to welcome opportunity and to be told that Kashan has progressed in pictorial rugs lately and mostly pictorial rugs in small sizes are woven that are named as Kashan panel rugs and pictures of hunt or myths are seen on them. These designs usually complete with inscription on the background or margin that this inscription can be a poet or a tale. The common pattern in margin, is a kind of Herati that is worked a lot on it; and in these rugs, mostly the first border is very long and has flowering patterns that is created by creativity and idea of master of weavers and the second borders are usually two that are created by sequences of flowers and squares with delicate frame.

At Kashan area, Aron, Natanz, Qamsar and suburbs the rugs like Kashan ones are woven that are similar in terms of the design but there is seen low elegance in both design and texture kind. The knot compression is low and is usually between 900 to 1600 knots in each square decimeter and the color used in these rugs is dark. Using binary knot and tanning wool is the reason that these rugs count low value.

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