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Rug Weaving Areas

Posted on 17 January 2014

Rugs come from many areas of the world, with skilled weavers taking their trade with them wherever they go. Although it is thought that it was the Nomads who originally created the pile rug, the flat woven rug has been around for thousands of years with no specific origins. Since then, the art form has spread across Persia, the Orient and the Caucasus, but which rugs come from where, and where are these areas?

Quite simply, a Persian rug is one which has been made in Iran, and an Oriental rug is one which has been made in any other Asian country. These are the two main areas, although others do exist too.

Persian rugs were originally created as protection from the elements, but weaving soon became an art form and the rugs became status symbols. Persians were creating high quality, fine decorative rugs over 2500 years ago, and this long history of weaving has given them the fantastic reputation that they have today. The designs vary, and often include symbols of nature or of something important to the tribe that the rug came from. Persian rugs are named after the region of Iran that they come from. Large towns and cities can have their own, very distinctive design that makes them instantly recognisable, others use specific materials that are not usually seen. A Nain rug is often identified by the use of pure silk and with a measurement of la that is not often seen elsewhere. Other towns and cities create a huge range of designs, to suit every taste and symbolise many different things.

Oriental rugs come from many different countries, but the main ones are India, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and China. Both India and Pakistan were introduced to rug weaving by the Persian empire in the 16th century, when workshops were created and skilled weavers from Persia taught others their skills. Rugs from Pakistan use very few colours and favour simple tribal designs, yet rugs from India come from Persian designs that they have imitated.

Turkey has long been well known for rug weaving, with the term ‘kilim’ being a Turkish word meaning ‘flat woven’. They also are highly skilled at creating pile rugs, and some very fine silk rugs come from Turkey. Chinese rugs have not been around for as long as any of those already mentioned, and China has only been knotting pile rugs since the 13th century. Chinese rugs have a very thick pile and China are now the biggest exporter of Oriental rugs; they have focused on retail demand and now weave rugs to suit the tastes of the western world.

The Caucasus is a region at the border of Europe and Asia, it includes parts of Russia, as well as Dagestan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and many other countries. Rugs have been woven here for centuries, and Caucasian rugs often heavily feature tribal designs, geometric patterns and bold colours. The tribes that create rugs have been doing so for many years, with designs and skills being passed down through generations.

IMAGE: A Dagestani rug, showing the geometric patterns and bright colours.

If you are unsure about where your rug is from, or it needs cleaning or restoration, get in touch with us today. 


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