Oriental rugs have been a staple in homes for centuries, but they are more than just a decorative item. Each Persian rug is a piece of art that tells a story of its own. With a rich history of craftsmanship, tradition, and culture, Persian and oriental rugs have become a symbol of luxury and elegance in home decor. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through time to uncover the fascinating world of Persian and oriental rugs, from the first one made, through the ages, up to present-day Persian rugs, including all the different types of rugs that were made, their countries of origin, materials used, colours and dyes, and knotting techniques.
The history of Oriental rugs dates to ancient times. The first Persian rug was made in the 5th century BC during the Achaemenid Empire. These rugs were made by hand, and the materials used were all naturally sourced. The ancient Persians used wool, silk, and cotton for the foundation of the rug, and the pile was made of sheep’s wool, camel hair, or goat hair. The rugs were woven using a knotting technique called the Persian knot, which is also called the Senneh knot.
As time went by, oriental rugs became more intricate and decorative. During the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736), the golden age of Persian rugs, the art of rug-making flourished. These rugs were made of silk and wool, and the design elements were all botanical and animal motifs. They were also very colourful, using natural dyes such as indigo, pomegranate, and saffron. These oriental rugs became so valuable and sought after that they were often used as currency in trade.
In the 19th century, European demand for Persian rugs skyrocketed, leading to the mass production of rugs. However, this led to a decline in quality, as the materials and dyes used were not of the same quality as before. Persian rugs became more commercialized, and the original designs were replaced with more modern motifs to cater to the European market.
Today, Persian & oriental rugs are still made by hand using traditional techniques, with many of the same materials and dyes as before. There are many types of Persian rugs, each with its own unique design and origin. Some of the most popular ones include Qum, Isfahan, Tabriz, Nain, and Kashan. Qum rugs are known for their intricacy and attention to detail, while Isfahan rugs are made of silk and have a signature central medallion. Tabriz rugs are known for their curvilinear designs, while Nain rugs are made of wool and silk and have a simple yet elegant design. Kashan rugs are known for their bold colours and intricate floral and curvilinear designs.
SUB-CATEGORIES OF PERSIAN & ORIENTAL RUGS
Persian rugs are hand-woven in Iran (formerly Persia) using traditional techniques passed down through generations. They are known for their intricate designs and high-quality materials, making them highly sought after by collectors and interior designers.
- Tabriz Rugs
Tabriz rugs are some of the most well-known and highly desired Persian rugs. They are characterized by their large central medallion design and detailed floral motifs. These rugs often use a variety of colours, including red, blue, and beige.
- Kashan Rugs
Kashan rugs are known for their high-quality wool and silk materials and intricate floral designs. They typically feature a central medallion surrounded by a border of smaller motifs. Kashan rugs are also often made in larger sizes, making them perfect for grand spaces.
- Isfahan Rugs
Isfahan rugs are known for their high knot density, which results in a very detailed and high-quality design. They often feature intricate floral patterns on a cream or ivory background, with accents of red, blue, and green.
- Heriz Rugs
Heriz rugs are characterized by their bold geometric designs and strong colours, such as red, blue, and ivory. They are woven in the city of Heriz in northwestern Iran and are known for their durability.
- Shiraz Rugs
Shiraz rugs come from the city of Shiraz, located in southern Iran. They are typically made with wool and feature bold geometric designs and vibrant colours like red, orange, and blue.
These rugs are often smaller in size and perfect for adding a pop of colour to a room.
TYPES OF ORIENTAL RUG
and oriental Oriental rugs refer to those that are hand-woven in Asia, including countries such as Turkey, China, India, and Pakistan. They have their own unique styles and characteristics influenced by the cultures and traditions of each region.
- Turkish Rugs
Turkish rugs are known for their bold and intricate designs, often featuring geometric patterns and vibrant colours like red, blue, and green. They are hand-woven using a double knot technique, resulting in a durable rug that can last for generations.
- Chinese Rugs
Chinese rugs are characterized by their detailed floral motifs and use of silk materials. They often feature a central medallion design and use colours like blue, gold, and ivory.
- Indian Rugs
Indian rugs are known for their high knot density and use of rich colours like red, blue, and green. They often feature intricate floral designs inspired by the Mughal era.
- Pakistani Rugs
Pakistani rugs are hand-woven using high-quality wool and feature bold geometric designs and vibrant colours like red, blue, and green. They are highly sought after for their durability and intricate craftsmanship.
- Afghan Rugs
Afghan rugs come from Afghanistan and are known for their unique mix of traditional Persian and tribal designs. They often feature bold geometric patterns in warm, earthy tones like red, brown, and orange.
Persian and oriental rugs have stood the test of time and continue to be a coveted addition to any home. With a rich history dating back centuries, each rug carries with it a story and a heritage that is unrivalled in the world of textiles. From the ancient Achaemenid Empire to the Safavid Dynasty to the present day, Persian and oriental rugs have evolved while maintaining their traditional techniques and materials. With their intricate designs, natural dyes, and hand-knotted craftsmanship, Persian rugs will always be a woven treasure that is as valuable as it is beautiful.
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