Oriental rugs come from the region encompassing China, Vietnam, Turkey, and Maghreb countries, Cyprus, Iran, India and Caucasus. This stretch of land is famous for beautiful area rugs. The connection of Oriental rugs to the land where they are made is deep-rooted. Each region has its own unique area rug design.
The beauty of the Oriental carpet lies in its symmetry and choice of vibrant colors that do not fade with generations of use. In most rugs, the design is laid out in two areas specifically: the borders and the field of the carpet. The design can be broadly classified into curvilinear and rectilinear. Floral motifs are curvilinear designs as they have curved outlines and tendrils. Geometric patterns and angular motifs are rectilinear designs. The field of the rug is filled by these motifs in an all-over pattern, a medallion or a prayer. This is particularly the case with Persian rugs which employ the repetitive design in the Herati, Pear (Palm Leaf), Gula Henna, and Mina Khani rug designs. Persian rug also often use a floral area rug design.
The repetitive design is also found in Tukoman carpets, all Bokharas, Afghans, and almost all Baluchistani carpets. The Bokhara and Afghan carpets use octagons or other repetitive geometric figures as well.
Some designs that originated in these are now used in clothes and quilts. Examples include the Tree of Life design, Lotus Flower, Bird of Paradise, Knot of Destiny and Stars of Medes.
Indian and Pakistani area rugs
Indian and Pakistani rug making was greatly influenced by the Persians. So the carpets from these regions have the same floral and geometric designs. More recent designs have an embossed or carved effect. These rugs generally have a plain field and figured border.
Turkish area rugs
Turkey is famous for its small Prayer rugs. Some Caucasian carpets too employ the Prayer design. But very few Persian rugs or other rugs from Central Asia adopt the Prayer design. They have smooth textures. These rugs mostly come in tribal and geometric patterns.
Chinese area rugs
Rugs made in China are unlike any other Oriental rug. Their designs are different and typical of the region, with dragons, flowers and pastel shades of vegetable or chrome dyes. Additionally, Chinese Rugs are not spoken of in terms of hand-tied knots to the square inch but by linear foot. They are not available in large numbers and can be very expensive.
Oriental Rugs come in so many designs and variations that it is nearly impossible to list them all. But the fact that no two rugs are similar in all respects makes Oriental Rugs interesting and much sought after. An authentic oriental rug is a handmade, one-of-its-kind piece that is testimony to the weavers’ imagination and the tradition of centuries of weaving.