Kashan Persian carpets
Like most Persian rugs, Kashan rugs take their name from the city they come from - Kashan. The weaving of these rugs is traced back to the 17th century, and some smaller silk patterns are thought to date back even further, to the early 16th century.
Known for their exquisite beauty, Kashan rugs are treasured by rug collectors around the world. This rug guide will help you make an informed decision if you want to own one of these fabulous pieces.
Where are Kashan rugs made?
Kashan, one of the oldest cities in Iran, is located in the center and surrounded on all sides by the desert. The mountains to the west provide just enough water to survive, but not much more, so the wool is stiffer and harder and unsuitable for carpet weaving.
The first Kashan rugs were made from merino wool imported from Manchester, which was softer and finer than the locally available wool. Later carpets used wool from Sabzevar, a region of Iran that produces some of the highest quality wool.
The history of Kashan carpets goes back to the 17th century, to the Safavid period. There are some records of smaller silk creations dating back even earlier, in the early 16th century.
Kashan was a favorite vacation spot for the rulers of the Safavid dynasty. As such, the city offered its honored guests the best of everything from luxurious vacation homes to spectacular architecture. Even the carpets were made with the status of the guests in mind. Not surprisingly, Kashan rugs are considered among the most majestic of all Persian rugs. Some of the carpets woven during this period are world famous.
Weavers have maintained the high quality of their materials, dyes, patterns and knotting techniques throughout the centuries. When you buy a Kashan rug you know you are buying a piece of history.
How to recognize a Kashan rug
A Kashan rug not only immediately enhances any room, it is also a great conversation piece.
A Kashan rug is easily identified by turning it over and checking the knots on the underside. The weavers use the asymmetrical Senneh knot to make Kashan rugs. This distinguishes them from most other Persian carpets, which are usually symmetrically knotted.
The medallion corner pattern and the use of deep, rich color combinations of blue, red and ivory tones are other distinctive features of Kashan rugs.
You should examine the weaving technique and materials used, the colors of the rug, and the motifs and medallions that adorn the rug. We address each of these factors below: The
A classic Kashan rug is knotted with the asymmetrical Farsi knot. When examining one of these pieces, the first thing you should do is turn it over and take a look at the back. If the knots are asymmetrical, this is one of the signs that it is a kashan.
Pile material of Kashan carpets
Original Kashan rugs have a cotton base and a 100% wool pile. The pile is usually cut short to show off the intricacies of the pattern. As these rugs are knotted by hand, it is not uncommon to find them in varying qualities.
However, there are some variations where some weavers use proportions of silk in the pile. A few weavers also used pure silk materials for their rugs, but these are very rare.
Type of knots used for Kashan carpets
Kashan rugs are usually knotted with an asymmetrical double knot, the Senneh knot.
The carpets are very dense and heavy. A 4′ 6″ x 7′ Kashan can weigh up to 24 pounds, or about 10 kg.
The double knotting and the higher density make these carpets extremely durable.
Kashan carpet weaving techniques
Kashan rugs are woven on a special loom, the dar. This is an asymmetrical weaving style in which the warp and weft threads are woven with two weft threads sandwiched between the rows of knots.
The Kashan weavers have mastered this style and apply it skillfully and with great care, resulting in carpets of exceptional delicacy and workmanship. A look at the knots on the back of the rug can give you a glimpse of the great care that went into making each knot.
Kashan rugs are some of the highest quality Persian rugs you can find. The materials and designs of these rugs still reflect their origins when they were made specifically for the rulers of the Safavid Dynasty, who expected nothing but the best.