Different Origins of Oriental Rugs

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Importance of History

Do you know the history of your rug? If not, you may be missing out on the best part of ownership. Buying an imported rug is more than buying a floor covering. You are purchasing a piece of history. The design of every rug has a story worth telling behind it.
Besides the educational and entertainment value, there are financial implications attached to your rug information. Your antique rug may be worth more than you think. It depends on when, how, and where it was made. It is not hard to learn about your rug. Ask a professional rug repair or cleaning technician about its history the next time you rug is repaired or cleaned. Customers frequently ask this question.

Definition of Oriental Rugs

By strict definition, only carpets hand knotted in Asia are Oriental rugs. Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan, Turkey, Russia, India, China, and Iran are big rug importers. Persian rugs, made only in Iran, are also considered Oriental rugs. The knots of Persian rugs are very distinct. Other characteristics include unique designs, rich color combinations, and unusually thick pile. Persian carpets are known for the variety in weave, size, color, and design they possess. Each rug is uniquely produced. The rugs are typically named after the district, town, or village where they are collected or woven. Nomadic pieces are named for the tribe that wove them.
Antique Oriental carpets have many famous varieties. They include Amritsar, Agra, Chinese, Kashan, Kurdish, North Indian, Oushak, and Saraouk. Also included are Bidjar, Heriz, Kirman, Lavar, , North West Persian, Samarkand, Serapi, Sultanabad, and Tabriz.

silk oriental rug


Papyrk is the oldest known carpet. The advanced technique used in weaving the Pazyrk carpet is an indication of a long history of experience and evolution. The Pazyrk carpet has a deep red central field and two wide borders. One of them depicts a Persian horseman, the other deer. It is doubtful that the carpet has a nomadic origin. It is believed to be a Achaemenid carpet production center product.
Historical records show the Achaemian court, during the reign of Cyrus the Great, was decked with magnificent carpeting. That was more than 2500 years ago. By the sixth century, the Middle East court circles were renowned in the display of silk and wool Persian carpets.

Color and Patterns of Oriental Rugs Have Meaning

Each rug has a particular weave, palette, and pattern that are unique to an indigenous culture. Weaving techniques used, can be identified as being from a nomadic tribe or geographic region. Floral and formal patterns typically come from urban areas. Geometric patterns are more likely from a tribe. ‘Prayer’ rugs have patterns that distinctly flow in one direction. Families of weavers placed design elements in rugs to record history.
Emotions, ideals and characteristics were evoked by color. Green referred to paradise, renewal, and hop. Green was often reserved for sections of rugs that were not frequently walked upon. Red stood for vibrant life, force, wealth, courage, luck, joy, and happiness. Blue symbolized the afterlife, power, honesty, and solitude. Brown was a reminder of soil, the earth, and the color of fertility. The sun was suggested by yellow. Yellow became associated with, and reserved for, rulers and royalty.