Persian rugs most certainly do not come in one type! There are lots of different types of Persian and oriental rugs from different countries with different patterns and styles. They can be made from a variety of materials and via a variety of techniques which produce a different finish and appearance.

So how can you identify which type of rug you have?

Let’s take a look at some types of rugs and their identifying factors:


A Kashan rug can be identified by its distinctive design, which features a central medallion surrounded by intricate geometric patterns. The colours are typically muted, with shades of red, blue, and ivory predominating. Kashan rugs are also notable for their fine craftsmanship, with a high density of knots and a silky sheen.


Tribal rugs often have bold, geometric patterns. They also tend to be made of natural fibres like wool or cotton, and they typically feature vivid colours.

Tribal rugs are usually handmade, so they often have unique characteristics that set them apart from machine-made rugs. For instance, you may notice slight variations in the pattern or imperfections in the stitching. This all adds to the beauty and story of the rug


Caucasian rugs are from the Caucasus region, which includes countries like Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. They often have geometric patterns and bright colours. Caucasian rugs are typically made of wool or cotton. They also tend to be hand-woven, and often feature intricate designs. Caucasian rugs are usually smaller in size


Bokhara rugs are from Uzbekistan and have a repeating pattern of octagons with a diamond in the middle. The background is usually red, with other colours like black, blue, or white in the design. Bokhara rugs are typically smaller than other types of rugs. Bokhara rugs are typically made from wool.

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Indian rugs often feature intricate patterns and bright colours and are made of natural fibres like wool or cotton and will usually have fringes on the end. A rug with subdued colours and simple designs simply does not lend itself to the Indian style of rug making. Indian rugs tend to be quite large, often measuring in excess of 10 foot in length. Indian rugs can be further sub-categorised depending in what region they were made.


When it comes to identifying kilim rugs, there are a few key characteristics to keep in mind. First and foremost, kilim rugs are characterized by their flat weave construction. This is in contrast to traditional pile rugs, which are made by knotting tufts of wool or other materials onto a foundation cloth. Kilim rugs also tend to be much thinner than pile rugs, as they do not have a thick pile of material to add weight and body.

In terms of design, kilim rugs often feature bold geometric patterns, as well as bright colours and motifs that reflect the culture and traditions of the weavers’ homeland. These designs can be quite intricate, making kilim rugs truly unique works of art.


When it comes to identifying a mahal rug, there are a few key things to look for. Firstly, mahal rugs usually have a deep red or blue field, with intricate floral or geometric patterns. Additionally, the piles of mahal rugs are often shorter than those of other types of Oriental rugs, which helps to create a denser and plusher feel. Finally, mahal rugs often feature a signature Herati pattern in their border design – this is a small repeated diamond motif that is said to represent the fish in the pond at the Mahal palace in Iran.


Turkish rugs typically have very intricate and detailed patterns and feature a knot called the Ghiordes Knot (or Turkish Knot). The Ghiordes Knot specifically brings both tuft ends to the surface together between two warp yarns. This is different to the Persian or Sehna Knot which bring each end of the tufts to the surface separately. The colours used in Turkish rugs are usually quite bold and vibrant. Turkish rugs are often made with high-quality materials (hand spun wool or silk) which can make them quite expensive.


it comes to silk rugs, there are a few things you can look for to help identify them. First, silk rugs often have a very high sheen or lustre. They may also be softer and more delicate than other types of rugs. Silk rugs may be more expensive than other rug materials.


This article serves as a fairly simplified approach to identifying several types of oriental and Persian style rugs. There are many more types, some of which could even be sub categorised based on location, maker or other factors. Research before buying is certainly advocated if you wish to know more detail about the type of rug which will furnish your property.

If you have a Persian rug and would like to know more about its authenticity and origin then get in touch with us at James Barclay. We offer an authentication service and are always happy to share our knowledge on the history of rugs.

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