City of Kashan is situated on the edge of deserts of central Iran. Kashan has become an industrial city in past thirty years. City that once was famous as one of the largest hand made carpet production centres in Iran is now better known for it’s machine made carpet factories.

However there are still some carpets that are produced in the city and surrounding villages although the volume of the production and quality is not comparable with the past.
Modern Kashans are mostly in classic Shah Abbasi patterns and tend to be in pastel colours. Most of such carpets are designed and made for Iran’s internal market where Kashan carpets have reputation for their durability and good value for money.

The most traditional design from Kashan is “Panj Matn” ( that means five fields in Farsi). The design consist of a central medallion in the centre of the field, mostly in red, decorated with four corners of identical patterns similar to that of medallion, all framed with a wide border. Panj Matn red Kashan is probably the most common pattern in Persian carpets.

Kashan has glorious history in carpet making. Great artists like, Mohtasham, Atayee, Sanei, Afsari and many others have created fabulous master pieces. Early to mid 20 century examples of such pieces can be found in the markets along with many newer pieces.

Some of the small rugs of Kashan that were woven in early 20 century are highly popular with collectors. Such rugs can be found in variety of qualities. Number of knots in some examples can go as high as 750 knots per square inch. Of Kashani weavers works of Mohtasham are most south after however the original works of the great master are very rare. It is a normal practice in market to call every fine old Kashan a Mohtasham specially when the design of the piece is not as curvilinear as normal Kashans. The other notable weaver is madam Afsary who is distinguished for creating fabulous master pieces from memory and without any pre drawn design.

In late 19th century and early 20 the century some large pieces where woven in Kashan for American market, along with similar pieces that were produced in Sarugh. Such pieces were generally large piece. They are famous as “dughi” Kashans. Dugh is a local drink in Iran that is made from mixing yogurt, water and some herbs. The name was adapted because the procedure of dying the yarn for such carpets involved keeping the yarn in dugh after dying it with madder. The result was a pinkish shade of red that is dominant in all such carpets.

Traditionally Kashan weavers never use hook to tie the knots. Every knot is done by bare fingers and thus it takes a longer time to weave Kashan rugs.

I will add more information and pictures to this blog soon…

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