Design and Origin of Kashan Rugs
Traditional antique Persian carpets have remained essentially unchanged for centuries with the earliest classical oriental carpets created for the 16th century Safavid Court. Appropriating design principles from Persian book bindings and miniatures, the existing decorative repertoire consists of central field patterns with endless or centralized repeats using cartouches or floral ornamentation. The designs of these antique Persian Kashan rugs and carpets successfully combine the ubiquitous central medallion with pendant systems, enhanced by corner spandrels and repeating floral compositions. Based upon an underlying grid system, antique Persian carpets are composed of spiral arabesques ornamented with floral and foliate motifs. Western Persian centers such as Malayer and Senneh developed a reputation for complicated repeats of floral boteh while the finest traditional antique rugs of the nineteenth century were woven in the sophisticated city workshops of Kashan, Malayer and Senneh. Kashan became the center of the Persian silk industry its artisans renowned for the silky quality of the wool rugs produced by them. The finest of antique Kashan rugs and carpets are known as Mohtashem, named for the most famous weaver from that city. The marvellous symmetry of such intricate rugs can only be fashioned by experienced artisans carefully following sophisticated cartoons. The classic antique Persian rug bestows unparalleled warmth and elegance to any interior.