Located in the northeastern province of Khorasan in Iran, Mashad is a prominent center of the carpet weaving industry and has been a major producer of Persian rugs for centuries. The city of Mashad is renowned for producing some of the best wool in Iran and the rugs that come out of this region are of very high quality.
Construction of The Mashad
Mashad rugs are generally large in size although you can find them in various sizes. They have a wool pile woven on to a cotton foundation. The wool used is soft and of very high quality and the pile is tight and thin, giving the finished rug a very soft but sophisticated look.
The rugs are woven using a Persian, asymmetrical knot that is over 4 warps rather than the usual 2 knots that is used in most other weaving techniques. The knot count could range from about 120 kpsi to 475 kpsi. Weavers use an unusual technique alternating between straight and sinuous wefts, which forces the foundation on to two levels.
Design Elements of Mashad Rugs
All the design elements in a Mashad Rugs are mostly curvilinear. There is usually a single, large central medallion with a very detailed background filled with curvilinear floral motifs and floral designs in the corners. The central medallion is called the Shah Abbasi medallion.
Mashad rugs have several design elements that are common with Kashan rugs, with only very small differences between them. However, Mashad rugs have one unique feature that helps distinguish between the two and that is their elongated corners. In the Mashad rug layout, the corners are so elongated that they sometimes touch or almost touch near the center of each border on each side of the rug.
Other motifs that the Mashad weavers use in addition to the Shah Abbasi motif are boteh and herati motifs. Unlike the single, large, central Shah Abbasi motif, botehs and heratis are smaller and woven in a repeated, all-over pattern.
Color & Texture of Mashad Rugs
The wool used in Mashad rugs is softer than that found in most other types of Persian rugs. The colors are non varying and most use exclusively red and blue as the dominating colors with ivory or khaki used to provide interesting contrast. The background is typically deep, dark red with dark blue highlights found in the center medallion, corner pendants and border. The red background is a distinguishing characteristic of Mashad rugs.
Using Mashad Rugs In Your Home Decor
With their high quality, soft wool, bold colors and stunning design elements, Mashad rugs are in high demand all over the world. Moreover, the construction techniques that are used to create these rugs make them sturdier and longer lasting, which are qualities most people look for when they are investing money in a rug.