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Collection: Oriental Rugs

Oriental Rugs: a Traditional Home Decor Ornament.

We refer to Oriental rugs a lot on this site — assuming that, if you landed here from a search or a referring link, you probably know a thing or two about them already. But maybe a primer on Oriental rugs would be helpful for some.

Why Oriental?

Traditionally, the Orient is a term for the East, comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world, in relation to Europe. Originally, the term Orient was used to designate the Near East — Western Asia, Turkey, Egypt (mostly located in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula being in Asia) and later its meaning evolved and expanded, designating also the Middle East or the Far East.

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Geographically, oriental rugs are made in an area referred to as the “Rug Belt,” which stretches from Morocco across North Africa, the Middle East, and into Central Asia and northern India. It includes countries such as northern China, Tibet, Turkey, Iran, the Maghreb in the west, the Caucasus in the north, and India and Pakistan in the south. Oriental rugs were also made in South Africa from the early 1980s to mid 1990s in the village of Ilinge close to Queenstown.

When, why, how and where did it all begin? Rug weaving as an art began in Persia, now Iran, approximately 2,500 years ago. Rugs were originally woven by nomadic tribes as protection from the cold and wet environment. Eventually, they began to develop into traditional patterns and became a work of art that was also utilitarian. From the Middle East to Euro-Asian countries, rugs and carpets provided covering for floors, tables, chairs — even huts themselves — and were also used for bedding.

How are rugs made?

• Weaving

Any hand-knotted or hand-woven rug is going to be made while on a loom. This has threads running vertically, which are called the warp threads (and which are used to make the fringes at either end). Carpets also have “weft” threads. These are run on the loom before any knots are added when a hand-knotted rug is produced. On the other hand, the weaving of the hand-woven rug is what creates the weft for that rug.

• Hand-knotted

Hand-knotted rugs are made of thousands or millions of tight and tiny knots. They usually more sturdy and heavy duty than hand-woven rugs, because of the labor intensity required to make them.

• Hand-woven

As their name implies, they are made on a loom and woven rather than being formed by millions of tiny knots. Does it mean they are less valuable overall? No, because many hand-woven rugs involve a special sort of spinning for the woolens or threads used, and many also use hand dyed threads that involve a great deal of time and care. Kilim rugs, for example, are highly prized by rug enthusiasts and often of significant value.

• Different types of knots

There are two main types of knots you'll see: the Turkish knot (also called a Ghiordes knot) and the Persian knot (also called a Senneh knot). Turkish knots are most common in rugs made in northwestern Iran, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, and of course, Turkey.

4 products
  • Hand-Knotted Oriental Design Handmade 100% Wool Rug (Size 6.7 X 9.8) Cwral-6753
    Vendor
    Classic World Rugs
    Regular price
    $4,500.00
    Sale price
    $2,600.00
  • Hand-Knotted Vintage Kerman Design Handmade 100% Wool Rug (Size 2.6 X 11.4) Brral-1815
    Vendor
    Classic World Rugs
    Regular price
    $1,600.00
    Sale price
    $750.00
  • Hand-Knotted Traditional Tribal Serapi Heriz Design 100% Wool Rug (Size 2.5 X 10.0) Brral-4443
    Vendor
    Classic World Rugs
    Regular price
    $950.00
    Sale price
    $490.00
  • Hand-Knotted Fine Modern Broken Design Handmade 100% Wool Rug (Size 2.8 X 12.0) Brral-4488
    Vendor
    Classic World Rugs
    Regular price
    $2,385.00
    Sale price
    $1,150.00