y Ehsan Afzalzadeh Naini, Iran Rug Company
Translated from Persian by Fereidoun Haghighi
In the past, the city of Kashmar was one of the important cities in Ghehestan (an old name for Khorasan Province of today) and the city was also called “Torshiz”. Torshiz was part of a region called Pousht.
Geographically speaking, Kashmar is situated in Khorasan Province, the largest province in Iran, and its distance from Tehran, the capital of Iran, is 926 kilometres with an altitude of 1,215 meters from the sea level. Neighbouring cities from North are Sabzevar and Nishabour, from West Shahroud, from South Gonabad, Ferdous and Tabas, and from East Torbat-e- Heydarieh.
The history of carpet weaving in Kashmar goes back to 150 years , and the contemporary art of carpet weaving dates back before the year 1300 (Persian Solar Calendar). However, between the years 1260 to 1280 (PSC) the carpet production in mass is recorded by historians.
The first master weaver in the Kashmar region was Mohammad Kermani who despite his last name was not a native of Kerman city but people say that he was born in a village called “Froutagheh” near Kashmar. According to the historians, the master weaver brought the knowledge of carpet weaving from Kerman Province and probably his first work was ordered by Said Hussein Sajjadi, a native and resident of Froutagheh and a renowned carpet producer.
There are some important villages around Kashmar that played crucial rule in carpet weaving and carpet production in the region such as: Froutagheh, Gazkhaneh, Phadafan, Farg, Tarighan, RezghAbad, ArefAbad, and also in some other districts in the vicinity like: Soltanieh, Hidarieh, FiezAbad, Ghouz, KouhSourkh, KhalilAbad, and Bardaskan there were carpet producers who also remained very active in the region.
The villages and districts above started to produce carpets at different stages of time; for instance, in Tarighan weaving had started in 1345 to 1346 (Persian Solar Calendar), in KouhSourkh the production began in 1350 (PSC) and in Bardaskan district in 1355 (PSC). In Kashmar there was disparity regarding the quality and the price of rugs in early years. In 1330 (PSC), the carpets in the region were in low RAJ (the number of knots in 7 centimeter), low quality and low price. However, during the years 1340 to 1341 (PSC) and with the presence of a person, Mr. Alipour, the carpet industry revives again in the area.
During the years 1353-1354 (PSC), Kashmar carpet find his place and starts to climb the ladder of success and even by the departure of Mr. Alipour in 1358, his designs and patterns were used and practiced by others who had flair for creating master pieces such as Mr. Shojaii whose work gained reputation internationally.
After the year 1375, the booming years start to fade as the market for the Iranian rugs starts to shrink both domestically and internationally.
Master designers and weavers in Kashmar
In old days, master weavers and designers were many in Kashmar and to just mention few, we can name : Alipour, Gholamhussein Skandari Tarighani, Jafarii, Javadii, Mohammad Skandari, Talatii, Bagherii, Golchian, Moarrezi and Shojaii
Renowned old and contemporary carpet producers in Kashmar
Carpet Producers both contemporary and old who played an important rule in introducing Kashmar to carpet enthusiasts around the world are: Khani, Tarak, Gholestani, Vazan, Abedini, Moshtaghi, Mosaferi, Bagheri, Sia, Ghafari, Maroufi, RajabPour, Hashemi, Shojaii, Jafari, Skandari and Ebrahimi. Among those mentioned above : Skandari and Ebrahimi were the most acclaimed carpet producers for the past seven years.
Design of Kase Boshghab (Bowl & Plate), design of Case Kozeh (bowl & flowerpot), design of ZirKhaki, design of Afshan (spread out), design of Lachak Toranj (a style from Mashhad, centre of Khorasan)
Ehsan Afzalzadeh Naini, Iran Rug Company 10 November 2004