Mohtasham Kashan Rug

Mohtasham Kashan Rugs:

Properly said, the term “Mohtasham “ refers to Kashan rugs made from c.1882 until 1914 woven in a particular atelier with a specific quality wool. Hajji Mollah Hassan Mohtasham, was an importer of English yarn and textiles active in Kashan in the second half of a 19th century. He first began employing machine spun, Australian Merino wool in rugs woven by his wife, a skilled weaver from Arak around 1882. These rugs had a velvety short pile, tight knotting in somewhat angular medallion and over all patterns. These rugs sold well and a larger production ensued, including carpets in large room sizes.

Early carpets are somewhat irregular in design because graph paper cartoons were not in use, but by the 1890’s the rugs were more fluent and regular. Around 1900, his son, Mohtasham the Younger took over the work shop and continued the practice of fine knotting, Manchester wool and ever more complex, detailed patterns in overall and medallion styles in size up to 14’x 24’.

Word War I ended the Mohtasham style and when production resumed afterward, design and colors radically changed, although the wool remained the same until 1930 when Persian sourced yarn was used.

There are a handful of extremely accomplished pieces signed by Mohtasham. Other workshops in Kashan tended not to employ English wool even though the pieces are finely knotted and well dyed. Thus the term” Mohtasham” should refer to Kashan rugs originating in the work shop of the eponymous master and his son made between 1882 and 1914 with Manchester wool in classical Persian style.