Origin of Kashmar Rugs
These rugs are woven in Kashmar, a small city located in the Province of Khorasan. Nomads have been weaving rugs in Kashmar for centuries but because of their remote location, their rugs are sold in the neighboring city of Mashad.
The Kashmar nomads originally wove these rugs to keep their homes warm during the extreme winters. Despite their utilitarian purpose, the weavers took great pride in creating rugs depicting elaborate designs in beautiful colors. The wool they used was of the highest quality, often obtained from the sheep they themselves had reared. The large number of sheep meant they did not have to compromise on quality by sourcing wool from outside.
Kashan rugs usually consist of a short to medium length wool pile on a cotton foundation. Silk is rarely used.
Two Distinguishing Features Of Kashmar Rugs
Their larger size and unique designs are two of the most distinguishing features of Kashmar rugs. This is an interesting feature because weavers produced larger rugs so they could fit in the design they had in mind.
The designs incorporated in these rugs are not just random motifs in different colors. They are actually scenes recreating stories of historical events and mystical legends. These stories are depicted through symbolic motifs that are woven within panels.
In order to fit their elaborate stores into their creation, weavers created larger, carpet size rugs instead of the smaller area rugs. The result, stunning large rugs with the most magnificent patterns creatively incorporated into individual panels.
Kashan rugs can be found in a variety of designs, each one different from the other. The garden design is a common theme but each weaver depicted it differently. They created panels and each panel within the rug told a different garden story, for example, one panel may depict birds on a tree, while other may show a dog near a lake surrounded with flowers, and a third may show a deer in a forest.
Medallion design flowers, trees, animals, birds, vases, jars, and pots were common elements in Kashan rugs.
Weavers used natural dyes extracted from the local plants to dye their creations. That is why you see most of the colors used in these rugs are subdued earth colors, which is quite a rare feature of Persian rugs. The large variety of plants that grow in the region means the weavers had lots of colors to choose from.
Deep dark blue is a dominant color used to create the background and margins of most of these rugs. Other common colors found in Kashmar rugs are shades of beige, cream, yellow, khaki, ivory, orange, green, blue, and pink.
The patterns created in Kashmar rugs usually relate a story about a historical event. It’s not uncommon to see images of ancient kings woven into the pattern.
The tree of life, large vases and a bowl and plate motif are other popular design elements.