About Tafresh Rugs
Tafresh is the capital of Tafresh County, Markazi Province, in Iran. Tafresh is a town with a population of around 25,000 (2011 census), situated in the mountains, 170 km southwest of Tehran. It is a very important rug-weaving center which is considered to be part of the larger Hamadan rug-weaving region. The town of Tafresh began weaving their distinctive “Clock-faced” medallion rugs in the early 20th century. These rugs are made with cotton foundations, are single-wefted, use a Turkish knot, are usually of 4’by 6-7’dimensions, and prominently display a bold “Clock-face” medallion. However in the last quarter of the century, many Tafresh weavers switched from their traditional designs to match those of neighboring areas, to meet domestic and foreign market demands. In addition to rug-weaving, Tarfresh is also known for its metal work art. Tarfresh is a university town, with a long tradition of involvement in science, literature, culture and art in Iran. Ancient Tafresh lay within the stronghold of the Zorastrians, and it is suggested that the “Clock face” on Tarfresh rugs is a representation of the “Sun”, a vital symbol of Zorastrianism.
Many of the remaining Tafresh rugs on the market today are the semi-antique “Clock-face” rugs. These Tafresh rugs have a distinctive and original geometric design, with a large central medallion, an open field, a border, and decorated corners. There are variations on the central medallion, but typically this assumes the form of a “Clock-Face” design. This is round, and divided into sixteen extended pendants, with leaves and flowers around the edge. Many Tafresh backgrounds or fields are red or ivory-colored. Different shades of gold, beige, green, blue, brown and grey, appear in the borders, medallion, corners and outlines of the rug. Sometimes small primitive or tribal elements are placed in the field. The border usually has large palmettes, surrounded by vines and other floral motif designs. The quality of Tafrish rugs ranges from good to very good. They are of fine workmanship, and a distinctive and vibrant example of the cultural history, and rug-weaving history, of this area. - William Clymer III.