Kashan is located in the centre of Iran and is one of its oldest cities. Kashan rugs have been crafted here since the 17th century, with many scholars believing that some of the smaller silk designs date back to the early 16th century. They are amongst the most beautiful and famous of all Persian rugs. The city of Kashan and its surrounding area is encircled by desert and therefore does not have a good source of local materials; originally Marino sheep wool was imported from Manchester (UK) to create some of Iran’s finest carpets. Later Kashan rugs use wool sourced from Sabzevar, which produces some of the very best wool in Iran. Kashan rugs are typically high-quality, many incorporating silk into their designs. The foundation tends to be cotton however some of the finest examples may be pure silk. The wool should be soft and the pile tightly knotted. The knot count (KPSI) can range from 100 to over 800 per square inch for the most majestic (and expensive) examples. The majority of Kashan’s have a similar design with a central medallion and Persian floral motifs forming the pattern, however as with most regions designs may vary. Popular colors are ivory, green and red with soft greens and blues found in newer rugs.