What is Meshed War Rug?

Meshed War Rug
A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck…. In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. One type I discussed were the rugs from Meshed, Iran. This is one of those rugs.

A question arose with someone who felt he was knowledgeable in Oriental Rugs. He suggested that these rugs were children’s rugs from Pakistan. It was not the first time I heard that story but it is obviously flawed. The way a young person learns to weave is the way they will weave when they get older. It is rather silly to suggest that a weaver would use an asymmetric knot open to the right when young and then switch to an open left later. To say nothing of the major differences in structure, materials and end and side finishes. There are Pakistani rugs that are similar to these but any real “expert” should be able to see the clear cut differences.

The argument for a Iranian attribution is outlined in the Guide to Afghan War Rugs. However the key identifiers are structure, wool and design. Recently I was able to obtain a number of these rugs and they are identical to what was available during the Russian war. Since this particular type is no longer made with these materials this rug must date to before The Islamic Republic of Iran began sending the refugees home after the war.

This rug is from Meshed, Iran. It is hand-woven and is in excellent condition.

Size: 2 foot 8 inch by 3 foot 9 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knots open to to right, 8 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 64 per square inch (992 per square decimeter).

Color: Goldenrod, red, black, copper, old ivory.

Yarn Spin: Z

Warp: White cotton.

Weft: 2 shots gray cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: .5 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 5 inch warp fringe.

Selvage: 3 cord interlaced red wool.

Handle: Medium, firm.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.

Meshed War Rug