Kashmar and the rug-making tradition

   Kashmar rugs are prized for their beauty, craftsmanship, and cultural significance. They are known for their high-spirited colours, sophisticated designs, and use of natural dyes. The rugs are also known for their high quality and durability. The weavers who create these rugs are highly skilled artisans who have been trained in the traditional techniques of rug weaving for centuries and are highly creative individuals telling stories of their dream time. Kashmar rugs are truly special for this reason, and they deserve to be more well-known. Many people confuse Kashmar with Kashmir. Kashmir is a region in India and Pakistan whereas Kashmar is a city in Persia, and its rugs are quite different from those of Kashmir. In this article, we will take a closer look at the art of rug-making in Kashmar. We will discuss the materials used, the techniques employed, and few specific motifs commonly found in Kashmar rugs. We will also discuss the history of the city and its role in Persian culture. We hope that this article will help you to learn more about Kashmar rugs and to appreciate their unique beauty and craftmanship. 

   Kashmar is a city in the Khorasan Razavi province of Persia. It is located in the western part of the province, about 150 kilometres from city of Mashhad. Kashmar has a long and rich history, dating back to the Achaemenid period (6th-4th century BCE). The city was an important centre of trade and commerce during the Islamic period, and it was also a major centre of learning and culture. It is known for its beautiful mosques, madrasas, and other historical buildings. The city is also home to a number of traditional crafts, including rug weaving, pottery and wood carving.

   The madrasas, Islamic schools, where centres of learning in a variety of subjects, including mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. Kashmar was home to a few important madrasas. In addition, Kashmar has a long and rich tradition of Sufism. The city was home to a few important Sufi saints, including Lal Ded and Sheikh Noor-ud-Din. These saints attracted followers from all over the Islamic world, and their teachings helped to shape the development of Sufism in Kashmar. The madrasas and Sufi tradition in Kashmar are two of the city’s most important cultural and historical assets.

   The city's location and history have played a crucial role in shaping its rug-making traditions. It is located in the Khorasan province of Persia, which is a crossroad of cultures. Located on the silk road, Kashmar was one of the most important trade routes in the world for centuries, and it played a significant role in the transmission of goods, ideas, and cultures between different parts of the world. The city was located on the main route between China and the Mediterranean Sea, and it was also on a route that connected Central Asia with India. This made Kashmar a convenient place for merchants to rest and trade their goods. The Silk Road was a major factor in the development of Kashmar. The city’s location on the trade route made it a prosperous centre of trade and commerce, and its diverse population made it a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. The silk road also played a significant role in the transmission of ideas and cultures to Kashmar, and it helped to shape the city’s unique identity.

فرش کاشمر اعلا

   Kashmar has a long and rich history of rug-making. The city was an important centre of trade and commerce during the Safavid period (1501-1736). During this time, the city was home to a number of talented rug weavers who developed new techniques and designs. The Safavid rulers were also patrons of the arts, and they encouraged the development of Kashmar rugs. This has led to a rich and diverse mix of influences in Kashmar rugs. The city’s weavers have had access to vast array of influences, from the nomadic tribes of central Asia to the refined aesthetic traditions of Persia’s urban centres. This blend of cultural influences is reflected in the diverse designs and motifs found in Kashmar rugs.

   One of the most distinctive features of Kashmar rugs from this period is their use of high-spirited colours. The weavers used a wide range of natural dyes including indigo madder, and cochineal to create rugs with rich, saturated colours. They also developed new weaving techniques that allowed them to create more intricate and detailed designs. Another distinctive feature of Kashmar rugs from this period is their use of pictorial motifs. Many rugs depict scenes from Persian mythology, history, or literature. These rugs are not just visually stunning, but they also serve as a narrative medium, preserving and conveying Persian myths and legends of future generations.

 The Zir-khaki pattern is a unique and distinctive feature of Kashmar rugs. It is a type of pictorial rug that depicts scenes from Persian mythology and history. The zir-khaki pattern is believed to have originated in the 17th century. It is thought to have been inspired by the undergoing treasure chambers that were often depicted in Persian mythology. The rugs often feature images of mythical creatures, such dragons, griffins, as well as historical figures, such as alexander the great.

  The name Zir-Khaki literally means “under the soil” in Persian. This is because the rugs often depict scenes from underground treasure chambers. The rugs are often woven in a deep blue, or sand colour, which is thought to represent the darkness of the earth. The Zir-Khaki pattern is a testament to the artistic creativity of Kashmar’s weavers. It is a unique and beautiful design that has been passed down for centuries. The rugs are a valuable part of Persian culture and history, and they continue to be admired by collectors and interior designers alike.

Bird design Rug

   The animals that are featured in Zir-Khaki designs often have symbolic meaning. For example, lions are often seen as symbols of power and strength, griffins are seen as symbols of wisdom and protection, while goats are symbol of being fearless and passing through obstacles. The specific animals that are featured in a Zir-Khaki design can vary depending on the weaver’s interpretation of the myth or legend that they are depicting. The animals in Zir- khaki designs are often depicted in a realistic style. However, they may also be stylized or exaggerated. The colours used in these designs are also often vibrant and saturated. This gives the rugs a sense of energy and excitement.

Birds on the other hand, play a vital role in the design of such rugs, and their symbolic meanings on Kashmar rugs comes in depth and diversity:

  • The lark in mythology and literature stands for daybreak. Larks sing early in the day, often before dawn. The lark is also associated with “lovers and lovers’ observance” to signify “passage from Earth to Heaven and from Heaven to Earth”.
  • The thrush, symbolising inner peace and peace of mind.
  • The Jay, Jay’s symbolism teaches lessons of adaptation to any situation while learning quickly. The highly intelligent spirit of this bird gives us access to memories long forgotten and shows us how to assimilate them into awareness. This bird also demonstrates that risk-takin, seizing opportunities and discovering new avenues for exploration are what life is all about. In other words, Jay meaning shows us how to use the power of intelligence and courage. He also balances these traits with discreet silence and the utmost patience in timing. This bird teaches you to be bold and curious. Jay reminds us that it only takes a few words to say what you need to say. Talking just for the sake of speaking leads to others turning you out. Thus, your input is essential. However, it needs to be clear and concise. Alternatively, this bird heralds a phase of new spiritual growth. However, you must take care of your physical body to integrate spiritual expansion. Therefore, a balance diet is crucial for you currently.
  • Woodpecker: is letting us know that it is time to pay attention because an opportunity has come knocking along with it. In other words, the Woodpecker meaning is signalling you that significant changes are happening in your life. Therefore, it is up to us to seize the moment. Whether it is the renewal of an old project, the finishing of a new project, or a serendipitous meeting with someone in our life, get busy. Alternatively, woodpecker symbolism is reminding us that we must march to our rhythm. In other words, we have to go with our natural flows, and make sure that keep moving forward without interference from others. Remember you can shake up the awareness of others just by being around them. They can also grab everyone’s attention with the simplest of words.
  • Pheasant: symbolic that your vitality is at a peak right now. This spirit animal indicates that by using colour to your advantage and allowing others to see your confidence, you can attract what you want. On the other hand, pheasant symbolism could be reminding you that you have as yet untapped creative passions that are burning deep within you. These passions are calling for exploration. Anything you feed now, will be endlessly productive.

   There is a general feel for these pictural rugs that reminds us we are never alone. When you call upon the angels, you will always have help. If we love ourselves unconditionally, our beauty will radiate outward for all to see. It also reminds us that only with genuine self-forgiveness can we unhesitatingly move forward. Alternatively, is about discernment of making choices that are right for you and push forward in ways and directions that are right for you.  

   The colours used in Kashmar rugs are rich and varied. Deep blues and reds are common, along with a range of other hues including ivory, green, and brown. These colours are derived from natural dyes, with ingredients sourced locally. Some of the most common natural dyes used in Kashmar rugs include:

  • Indigo: this dye produces a deep blue colour.
  • Madder: this dye produces a range of reds, from light pink to dark maroon.
  • Cochineal: this dye produces a bright red colour.
  • Saffron: this dye produces a yellow colour.
  • Walnut husks: this dye produces a brown colour.

The use of natural dyes not only provides vibrant colours but also ensures the rugs retain their colour over time.

   Kashmar rugs are traditionally woven with high-quality wool. The wool is sourced from local sheep, known for their high-quality fleece. The foundation of the rugs, or the ‘wrap and weft’, is usually made of cotton. Wool is a natural fibre that is known for its durability and softness. It is also a good insulator, which makes Kashmar rugs comfortable to walk on. Cotton is a strong and durable fibre that is also relatively inexpensive.

   The wool used in Kashmar rugs is sourced from local sheep. The sheep are raised in the surrounding mountains, where the climate is ideal for sheepherding. The wool is then processed and dyed using natural dyes. The most common natural dyes used in Kashmar rugs are indigo, madder, and cochineal. The combination of high-quality materials and natural dyes makes Kashmar rugs some of the most beautiful and durable rugs in the world. They are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the weavers who create them. 

   Kashmar rugs are woven using the Persian (Senneh) knot, which is a style of knotting unique to Persian rugs. This knot is created by wrapping the wool around two warp threads, rather than one, which results in a tighter weave and a more durable rug. The high knot density of Kashmar rugs is often cited as one of their defining characteristics. This density can range from 120 to 350 knots per square inch, with the highest quality rugs typically having a density of 250 knots per square inch or more. This high knot density allows for intricate, detailed designs that would be impossible to achieve with lover knot density.

   The tight weaving and quality materials used in Kashmar rugs make them very durable. These rugs can withstand years of wear and tear, and they will still look beautiful for many years to come. Here are some of the benefits of using the Persian knot in rug weaving:

  • Tighter weave: the Persian knot creates a tighter weave than other types of knots, which makes the rug more durable and resistant to wear and tear.
  • Intricate designs: the tight weave allows for more intricate and detailed designs, which can be very beautiful.
  • Softer pile: the Persian knot creates a softer pile than other types of knots, which makes the rug more comfortable to walk on.
  • Longer lifespan: the tight weave and soft pile of rugs woven with the Persian knot make them last longer than other types of rugs.

   While there are numerous weavers and workshops in Kashmar, the region’s rugs are more recognized for their distinct style rather than individual weavers. This is because the weavers in Kashmar follow a common tradition and use similar techniques, which results in rugs that have a similar look and feel. However, each rug is still the result of countless hours of skilled Labor and artistic vision. The weavers who create these rugs are highly skilled artisans who have been trained in the traditional techniques of rug weaving. They are highly creative individuals telling stories of their dream time.

Rug weaving

   The name of the weaver is sometimes woven into the rug itself, serving as a signature of their work. This is a way for the weaver to show their pride in their work and to leave their mark on the rug. It is important to note that not all Kashmar rugs are created equal. There are some rugs that are of much higher quality than others. The quality of a rug depends on several factors, including the skill of the weaver, the quality of the materials used, and the complexity of the design.

   Several cities and regions around Kashmar are known for their rug-making traditions. The most notable among these are Mashhad, which is capital of Khorasan Razavi province. It is a major centre of trade and commerce, and it is also a major centre of rug weaving. Mashhad rugs are known for their high quality and their intricate designs. Another city is Birjand; which is a city in South Khorasan, and it is a major centre of rug weaving. Birjand rugs are known for their bright colours and their geometric designs.

   Kashmar has a desert climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The city receives little rainfall, which is typical of the region. The average temperature in Kashmar ranges from -8 degrees Celsius in January to 40 degrees Celsius in July. Despite these conditions, Kashmar has thrived, thanks in part to its access to water from the nearby mountains. The city is located on the Kashmar river, which provides water for irrigation and drinking. The city also has several hot springs, which are popular destinations. The climate of this area can be challenging, but the city’s people have adapted to the conditions. The city is home to several different ethnic groups, including Persians, Kurds, and Turks. The people of Kashmar are known for their hospitality and their resilience.

   Kashmar rugs are a beautiful and unique example of Persian culture and craftsmanship. They are made using traditional methods and natural dyes, and they are prized for their beauty, quality, and durability. The weavers who create these rugs are highly skilled artisans who have been trained in the traditional techniques of rug weaving are highly creative individuals telling stories of their dream time. Kashmar rugs are a valuable part of Persian culture and history. They are a reminder of the city's rich history and its important role in the development of Persian rug-making. They are also a testament to the skill and creativity of the weavers who create them.

   If you are looking for a rug that is both mythical and long-lasting, a Kashmar rug is a great option. We have few unique Kashmar rugs in our collection. These rugs are sure to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to it's true home.

Pictural Kashmar rug

"Featuring decorative and collectible Persian carpets from traditional weaving tribes, villages, towns, and cities. These rugs are prized for their beauty, craftsmanship, and cultural significance."