Silk Kashan 16267
150 x 102 cm
first quarter of 20th century
Silk Rugs – Silk Carpets and rugs are the most luxurious productions of their kind. The silk textile production began in China, although silk rugs are unattested there until the seventeenth century. Silk textile manufacture was well established in Persia by the Sassanian Period (third to seventh centuries). Consequently, it would have been possible for the Persians of this period or those of Early Islamic times to have adapted silk to rug production. But it is so far unclear whether China or the Islamic Orient initiated the manufacture of silk carpets. At any rate, the earliest extant of all the antique handmade silk rugs are in fact the handmade Persian silk rugs of the Safavid Period. Eventually rugs with all or part silk construction came to be made in virtually all Oriental rug – producing regions – Persia, Turkey, Turkestan, Tibet, and China. In the finest examples, not only the pile but even the foundation (wefts and warp fringes) are made of silk. Silk rugs are luxurious not only because of the fine texture and the reflective, luminous properties of the pile, but also because of the quality of their color. Silk allows the dyes to achieve a richness and intensity that can never be matched by even the finest wool.
Silk is a magical fiber that is unbelievably thin and astoundingly strong. Even when silk highlights are used to add definition to ornate designs, the complexion of a carpet or textile can change completely. The hand of silk rugs and textiles is rich and sumptuous. These traits are matched by the luminosity of colors when light is reflected by the fiber’s prismatic structure. Silk is lithe yet exceptionally durable. As a commodity, it built the world’s most famous trade route and created immortal legends. Today, silk is still the ultimate luxury fiber. The intrinsic value and beauty of silk is destined to outshine all other natural and synthetic fibers known to man.All natural dyes are paramount for the carpet to have more than just decorative value. Beyond that, various dyers had varying levels of skill and invested different lengths of time in dyeing the yarns. The “quality of color”–its radiance and level of nuance within each color–is centrally important. Certain rare colors such as Tyrian purple, saffron yellow, cochineal rose and greens add to the carpet’s value