Mashhad Rug, The Delightful Representative of Khorasan

The rug industry began in Mashhad in the late 19th century. Today, it has many manufacturers, some with only a couple of looms. The government manages many institutions and industries around the city, including rug workshops. This article gives you a clear image of this city’s elegant and artistic souvenir: the Mashhad rug.

Where is Mashhad?

Mashhad [aka Mashad], the capital of Khorasan province, is the 2nd biggest city in Iran with over 3 million. Located at the country’s northeastern borders, Mashhad inherited historical cities such as Tus, Neyshabur, Marv, and Heart. All used to be major cities of the Great Khorasan, but now each is in a different country.

The term Khorasan means the “Coming Sun” in Middle Persian. The Great Khorasan included Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, some parts of Uzbekistan, and Iran’s northeastern provinces.

Mashhad means the place of martyrdom. The name comes from the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. This shrine is one of the most important holy sites in Shia Islam. Imam Reza is buried next to the Abbasid caliph Harun Al-Rashid, the most renowned Abbasid Caliph and the main character in 1001 Nights.

Mashhad Rug, The Delightful Representative of Khorasan
shrine of Imam Reza, Mashhad, Iran

The Abbasid caliph died far from his luxurious palace in Baghdad and lavish Arabian nights because of an illness while leading an eastern expedition. Today the caliph’s reputation’s entirely overshadowed by the Imam’s sanctuary.

At the beginning of the 20th, a Tabrizi rug designer and producer, Amoghli, established rug workshops in Mashhad. These workshops continued their fine production during the following decades under his family, bringing the Mashhad rug to its climax. Examples of Amoghli master rugs are kept today in Iranian palaces and museums as the best of modern Persian rugs.

Technical Aspects and Structure of The Mashhad Rug

Although fine stitched rugs from Mashhad are rare, a fantastic group of fine modern Persian rugs comes from this city. These woolen rugs are the masterpieces of the talented weaver, designer, and producer Amoghli and his sons with an intricacy reminiscent of silken tapestries rather than woolen piled rugs.

A regular Mashhad rug has about 160,000 to 200,000 knots/m2, in both symmetric and asymmetric knotting. Amoghli was a leading figure in the Mashhad rug industry who brought a strong influence of Tabriz rugs to Khorasan.

In a Mashhad rugs, the pile is typically woolen on a cotton foundation. Most contemporary ones have double-wefts, and all rug sizes are available in Mashhad.

Dyeing and Painting of Mashhad Rug

A typical Mashhad rug has a dignified appearance with deep cochineal red for the ground. Also, a sober dark blue dominant paints the central medallion, corners, and borders. A secondary palette is more diverse to add vivid details into such a firm body. A mauve red is typical in Mashhad, which is a clue for experts to distinguish a Mashhad rug from a similar one.

rugs from Mashhad are rare
Mashhad Rug Sample

Designs and Patterns of Mashhad Rugs

Like all other modern Persian rug centers, Mashhad designs share all urban Persian patterns and designs. The area introduced the most famous of such national patterns: the famous Herati.

The city of Herat played a significant role in Iranian and Anatolian aesthetics, such as in music and visual arts. Herati rug design spread westwards across Iran, Anatolia, and Caucasia with many interpretations. It greatly influenced Mahshad’s rugs in both rectilinear and curvilinear renderings.

Serving mainly as a repeating pattern, Herati consists of a flower framed in a diamond with curving leaves out of it parallel to each side. Rug weavers also call these curving leaves Mahi (fish) or Mahi-e Darham (twisted fish).

Tabriz, Kerman, and Yazd rug designs have also chiefly influenced the Mashhad rug industry in the modern era.

Mashhad medallions are mostly sixteen-pointed. They have large corners and wide margins on a ground filled with large Shah Abbasi motifs, which tend to be like sprays of flowers. You could also find oval medallions in the Mashhad rug. Almost all of them bear the date and the weaver’s or manufacturer’s signature woven into the upper border.

rugs from Mashhad are rare
Mashhad Rug Sample

These Persian rugs are fantastic for giving a distinct character to your home design. Khazai Rugs in Louisville, KY has brought the finest of Mashhad rugs in one place at the lowest prices. Pay us a visit today to find your ideal rug that perfectly agrees with your style and budget.

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