The town of Kashmar is found south-west of Mashad and it has no old carpet tradition to draw from. The patterns consist of medallions, flowers and vase motifs. The Herati pattern is very rarely seen. Most often, they use light and pastel colours. The warp and weft are made of cotton, with a tall pile made of varying wool quality. The knot density is 9,000-23,000 per ft2. The carpets are knotted with Senneh knots (Persian knots). In recent years, replica Nain carpets made in Kashmar have appeared on the market.
Mashad, Mashhad, Maschad, Meshad
The capital in Khorassan is called Mashad. Many people describe it as the most beautiful city in Iran after Isfahan, and it is located about 1000 metres above sea level, in the middle of a fertile oasis. Mashad is the most important pilgrimage town in Iran. Here, you can find Imam Reza's Mausoleum. In the year 818, the eighth Imam Reza (Ali al-Ridâ) was poisoned and killed by al-Ma’mûn, and the town has since been known as ‘The City of Martyrs”. In the period under the Safavids (1502-1736), shah Abbas undertook a pilgrimage to Mashad, and in 1602, he commissioned the building of a beautiful mosque with a golden dome above the tomb.
Facts about Mashad
Mashad is located in north-eastern Iran in the Khorasan province. The town has more than 2.5 million inhabitants and is one of Iran’s most sacred cities. This is where the prophet Imam Reza is buried. Visiting Mashad is an important part of the pilgrimage for a Shia Muslim. Today, Mashad is a very important carpet town, and it is also a gathering point for the carpets that are made by the numerous nomads in the area. The town is famous for its good quality wool. At the bazaar, we were told that many breeders produce such good wool that it is sold to other areas. Saying ‘Pashme-i-Mashad’ (‘the wool is from Mashad’) is regarded as a good sales argument and adds a nice bonus. It is also a wonderful experience to see the bazaar, with carpets everywhere, all of which were made in the area, and to see and feel them and still marvel at how different they are. Good, durable carpets are knotted in the actual town of Mashad. The pattern is cultivated and tasteful, with a central medallion, and the ground colour is usually red. It is an easily recognisable shade of violet-red. This colour is obtained from the cochineal red dye used here, which is different from the madder red used in most other places. The Senneh knot (Persian knot) is used, and the knot density is usually between 18,500-46,000 knots per m2. The most famous workshop ever in Mashad was Soltan Ibrahim Mriza. Later, others were established, such as Amoghli, Khamenei and Zarbaf. Amoghli was one of the most recognised carpet workshops in Persia in the 20th century, under Ali Khan Amoghli and Abdol Mohammad Amoghli. Their carpets were among the favourites at the shah's palaces during the Pahlavi dynasty.
You are reading an extract from the book ‘Oriental Carpets, Knottet with Love’ by Martin Munkholm.
This extensive book about all that is carpets can be borrowed in Danish libraries or be bought following this link: http://www.belle-rugs.dk/dk/ekspertise/taeppebog/
The book is published by Muusmann Forlag.
For more info: muusmann-forlag.dk
You can find our selection of Kashmar carpets underneath.