Persian Kashan rugs are hand knotted City/Workshop rugs made in large numbers in and around the town of the same name in west-central Iran (Persia), 150 miles/241kms south of the capital, Tehran. They have a formal design, typically with a central medallion balanced in each corner with spandrels and all enclosed within a border.
The pile is almost always wool on a cotton warp and weft (backing) but some very fine silk rugs are on the market- mostly older and antique ones. They are almost always floral with tendrils of vines but some of the finer examples have enough knots per square inch to render realistic pictorial designs. The main ground colours are reds and blues but you can find examples of paler cream or ivory ones as well as pale green.
The qualities of Persian Kashan rugs vary but you will never find a really poor one, although some of the more recent weaving have cheap wool and dyes- this is often reflected in the cost. The finest Kashan are called Mochtashem (Motashemi) and are superb rugs with a price to match. You can find many sizes from 6’x4’/1.83×1.22 up to 24’’x16’’/6.70×4.88 with most options in the UK being in the middle of this range.
PROS- A typically “Persian’ rug look which is instantly recognisable as being artisan made, luxurious and classic. Very practical rugs in that they hide all sorts of spillages due to the deeper colours and dense designs. Still great value considering the effort and time that goes into making them. Can be taken from house to house if you are a renter to be a constant familiar reference point. A better example will make any home improvement instantly grander. They clean up very well as well as being easily restored and look better with age.
CONS – Newer lower quality examples are rife and you will not know what you are buying, unless through a trusted dealer. Can look quite old fashioned and can dominate a room if you use one that is too large for the space.