Manchester Kashan

Here is the definitive tale of the famous and rare Manchester Kashan. It begins with the First World War.

Persia was invaded by the Czarists, the Ottomans and the British, with German and American involvement carving out spheres of influence. The European warring powers purchased, and some say the British army stole, grain and other transportable foodstuffs, leaving nothing for the local populace. This was followed by a severe 3 year drought where crops failed to such an extent millions starved. It has been estimated as many as one third of the population, 10 million people may have died.

Of course few healthy sheep remained. Smart carpet merchants could see the rise of a well-heeled European middle class demanding, and able to pay for, the best Persian Carpets. To restart their business necessitated looking abroad for the best available wool. It was settled on the world's best Australian Merino raw wool that languished in the spinning mills of Manchester and available at a fraction of the usual price as the post war drop in demand had not been taken up by the 1920's fashion industry. Right product, right timing.

The business model was to bring that wool to Persia where there was already an unemployed pool of  the best vegetal dyers, carpet designers and master weavers in the world. The intention was to make carpets in Kashan the equal of the famous Safavid carpets of centuries before. This became a success and helped kick start the resurgence of great Persian Carpet weaving in other centres.

This business model only lasted a little over a decade as Australian merino regained it's price and home-grown wool became plentiful and cheap, and of course the depression in Europe.

Most Manchester Kashans were woven with a red field, fewer with blue and the rarest of all, this deep yellow. 

We recommend this great carpet to you. It is in more or less perfect condition and awaits to contribute its sublime nature to your surroundings.


Also in Stories

The Process: Wool Sorting / Washing
The Process: Wool Sorting / Washing

We always say is if the sheep is happy, you end up with good wool. The village process, all done by hand produces the most premium durable long lasting wool for our Challu Berbers & Chobi rugs.

The further away from industrial processes the more durable, beautiful & ethical. We also say “if branded, it’s suspect”. ❤️
A Family Poem
A Family Poem

We are swimming in a vast sea of family. Come in, the water is fine.

The Value of Moroccan Rugs
The Value of Moroccan Rugs

A nice little YouTube weaving video.