Antique Rug Glossary

 

  • ABRASH - Abrash describes the naturally-occurring variation in the color in Oriental rugs over time due to differences in the wool or dye batches. In the commercial production of rugs, weavers sometimes deliberately try to mimic this variation.
  • ACANTHUS LEAF - The acanthus leave is a Mediterranean leaf with serrated edges, which were a common motif in architecture and rug designs. They are most frequently seen in Savonnerie rugs.
  • AGRA - During the sixteenth century the city of Agra, famed for the Taj Mahal, was the capital of the Mughal Empire and the cultural center of Indian art forms such as inlaid stonework, jewelry, miniature paintings, architecture, textile design and rug & carpet weaving. In nineteenth century northern India, the art of oriental carpet weaving as a commercial enterprise was revived with stunning results. Since the golden age of Mughal India the production of rugs and carpets had virtually disappeared until it was regenerated under British rule. Prisoners in the country?s jails ? including those of Lahore, Yeraoda and Montgomery, as well as Agra ? wove some of the most beautiful carpets. Designs for these antique Agra rugs were often based upon classical Persian pieces from the sixteenth and seventeenth century; especially antique rugs and carpets in the collection of the Maharajah of Jaipur. Many of these exceptional antique Agra jail carpets were commissioned by special order and found their way, via the powerful Anglo-Indian trading companies of the time, to the great houses of Britain and Europe. Antique Indian Agra rugs and carpets remain highly collectible, blending into both traditional and contemporary settings.
  • AMERICAN HOOKED - Proliferating in regions where the winters were long, the climate cold and the economy limited, American hooked rugs were traditionally made by pulling a narrow strip of cut fabric up through a foundation material with a special tool. Settling in coastal New England and Canada, the fishermen, farmers and the womenfolk who emigrated from Northern Europe, brought with them traditional crafts and a common culture that led to the evolution of handmade rugs that are now considered a significant category of American folk art. Motifs for American hooked rugs were often inspired by the maker?s natural environment consisting of sea shells, fallen leaves, animals, the family dog, buildings, flowers, baskets, seascapes and landscape vignettes. From the early 1800s through the middle years of the twentieth century these original compositions allowed the rug makers an opportunity to freely express their creativity. Rag rugs were originally created out of necessity, with limited supplies and only the simplest tools used to braid and crochet useful floor coverings from scraps of discarded fabric. Because of their authenticity and beauty, antique American hooked rugs and rag rugs are keenly sought after.
  • AMRITSAR (NORTH INDIAN) - Amritsar, meaning the "lake of immortality" in Sanskrit, is the name of a city in Punjab in Northwest India where rugs began to be manufactured beginning around 1860. The double-wefted rugs employ an asymmetrical knot and are characterized by their subtle earthy color palette and large-scale designs. The rugs from Amritsar tend to be highly decorative as they were made to appeal to the European market.
  • ANATOLIA (TURKEY) - Anatolia is a peninsula between the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, where pile rug weaving is an ancient craft among the Yoruk, Turkoman, and Kurdish populations. With many weaving centers throughout Anatolia, each created an innately Turkish carpet with a distinct signature style native to its specific region. In the fifteenth century, inspired by the example set by the Timurid and Safavid Courts, Turkish artists introduced floral and Chinese motifs, first into ceramic tile-work and textiles, and then adapted into oriental carpet patterns. These designs included elegantly drawn prayer rugs decorated with architectural motifs serving as models for centuries of village weavers of rugs and textiles across Anatolia. Turkish rug and carpet weavers traditionally used a smaller assortment of color than their Persian counterparts, achieving a remarkable range with only eight or nine colors. Primary colors tend to dominate, particularly blue and madder red, although a softer and lighter palette is often used on late nineteenth and early twentieth century carpets. Woven with symmetrical knots, Anatolian rugs, such as Ushak rugs, are generally known for their geometric designs.
  • ANGORA WOOL - Angora wool is a soft silky fiber that comes from an Angora rabbit.
  • ANILINE DYE - The red synthetic dye, Aniline, a direct derivative of coal tar, was invented in 1856 by William Henry Perkin.
  • ANTIQUE - An antique is an object that is generally over 80-100 years old and is collectible due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature.
  • ARABESQUES - An arabesque is a design motif of scrolling or intertwined vines, straps, or tendrils, that is common in oriental rug design.
  • ARDEBIL (ARDABIL) - The Ardebil carpet is a large carpet designed by Maqsud of Kashan in 1539-40 that is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is supposed that the rug (and another nearly identical carpet) were produced for a shrine in the Northwestern Persian city of Ardebil.
  • ART DECO/ART MODERN - The origins of the Art Deco style in the period between the two world wars were from the Bauhaus movement. Art Deco owes its name to the first major exhibition of decorative arts to be held after the First World War: L?Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925. The supreme elegance of the custom made interiors at the event set an example for interior designers the world over. Inspired by these innovative aesthetic ideas, artists, designers, craftsmen and manufacturers from across Europe and America produced a wide range of modern pioneering patterns that delivered a dramatic change of style to furnishings in general, and early 20th century rugs and carpets in particular. Decorative arts of this period, sometimes known as the Machine Age, are characterized by a streamlined appearance. Art Deco rugs and carpets woven from the mid-1920s through the 1930s reflect this style. Often influenced by the works of artists such as Miro, Mondrian and Leger, modern rugs frequently have non-objective designs formed of solid color blocks, lines, and geometric shapes. Two groundbreaking French designers, Jean Michel Frank and Emile Jacques Ruhlmann may be credited with some of the most creative Art Deco carpets and rugs of the age. Learn more about art deco rugs.
  • ART NOUVEAU - Art Nouveau is a turn-of the 20th century design style that is characterized by the frequent use of plant forms, such as vines, leaves and flowers, which were styled into the shape of objects. Victor Horta and Sir Frank Brangwyn are two art nouveau practioners known for their carpet designs.
  • ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT - Originating in Great Britain in the late 19th century, the arts and crafts movement supporters were committed to craftsmanship in the applied arts and home furnishings as a response to manufactured goods then popular in Europe. William Morris and C.F.A Voysey are the most widely known among rug designers in the movement.
  • ASYMMETRICAL KNOT - A type of knot that is tied by taking two warps and passing the yarn behind so that it emerges between them to encircle one a reappear between them. It is also known as a Persian or Senneh knot. It is common in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt and China.
  • AUBERGINE - Aubergine is the color eggplant purple that is sometimes called Bishop's purple.
  • AUBUSSON (FRENCH) - Aubusson is the name of a French town known for producing fine tapestries. Aubusson rugs are napless and are made in the tapestry weave, the quality of which is measured by the number of warp threads in terms of the portee and the lame. Generally, finer tapestry-weave carpets a greater number of portees to a lame. They are also referred to as flat weave or Gobelin rugs.
  • AXMINSTER - The history of the English Axminster carpet started in 1755, when Thomas Whitty opened a carpet manufacturing company in the town of Axminster, in the county of Devon. The development of carpet manufacture in England during this period was enabled by laws which were designed to promote locally produced textiles, out of concern that foreign textiles were dominating the market, particularly by the French Savonnerie carpets. These early Axminster rugs were hand knotted, and they quickly became the undisputed choice for wealthy aristocracy. Antique Axminster carpets and rugs grace the floors of Chatsworth and Brighton Pavillion to name a few and were bought by George III and Queen Charlotte who visited the factory in the 18th Century. Some of the most famous Axminster carpets were designed by reknowned architect and furniture maker Robert Adam. The elegant carpet he designed for Harewood House circa 1770 currently resides at the Metropolitan Museum is not dissimilar to the Lansdowne carpet, circa 1775. They both employ classical motifs based on the antique finds at Herculaneum and Pompeii in the late 18th century. They share a sense of orderly symmetry in the overall design using Palladian elements such as columns, pediments, architraves, trophy compartments and a string of bell flowers along with classical masks. The Axminster rugs he designed often mimicked the plasterwork of the ceiling above. He used nearly garish intensity of colors which have faded over time. An Axminster carpet is a type of pile carpet named for Axminster, a town in Southwest England which continues to produce carpets today. These carpets are made distinctive by their bright colors, and they are traditionally made from wool. Like the French carpets they often featured classical motifs borrowed from Renaissance architectural elements and floral patterns; while a few designs embraced Oriental patterns. William Morris and CFA Voysey are famous designers who drew patterns for Axminster carpets and rugs in the late 19th/early 20th century. Most people associate Axminster with quality, since it has been a renowned name in carpet making for centuries.
  • BAKHTIARI - The Bakhtiari, a colorful nomadic tribe from South Central Persia, migrate in summer with their herds from the plains near the Persian Gulf on the east of the Zagros Mountains, to the more mountainous pastures in the west, and then back again in winter. To the east of the Zagros range is Chahar Mahal, the area where the bulk of antique Persian Bakhtiari rugs and carpets were produced. Here, the weavers are a mixture of Kurds, Lurs, Armenians and even Turkmen tribes people. In the early nineteenth century, some of the Bakhtiari leaders settled in the Chahar Mahal region, where their relative wealth gave them the status of ?gentry?; thus the Bakhtiari name was appended to the region and its substantial carpet and rug production. These distinctive antique Qajar carpets are among the boldest and most dynamic of antique Persian rugs, and are distinguished by the liberal use of blue-black or charcoal, both as an outline of the individual design elements, or as the field color. IN addition rugs from the region often had lozenge or rectangular compartments containing brightly-colored floral or garden motifs and long rugs with small botehs enclosed in vertical stripes.
  • BAKSHAISH - Bakshaish is the name of a Persian village southwest of Heriz. Rugs from this region used the symmetrical knot and often used the herati pattern.
  • BESSARABIAN - The Bessarabian nomenclature relates to a group of nineteenth century carpets and flat weaves or kilims made in the mountainous Carpathian region between the Ukraine and Moldova. Although little is known about the circumstances or workshops where these rugs and flat weaves were fashioned, the output shows a synthesis of local folk motifs and designs inspired by eighteenth century French carpets popular at the Russian Court and in aristocratic circles. Both metropolitan and provincial antique Bessarabian kilims are distinguished from Western European urban weavings by less formal designs that manage to achieve an elegant balance between noble and poor, grace and force, making these unique flat weaves among the most sought after of decorative antique rugs and carpets.
  • BIBIKABAD - Bibikabad is the name of a Northwest Persian village near Hamadan where the rugs were single-wefted and woven with the symmetric knot. Botehs and Herati designs were commonly used in this village.
  • BIDJAR (BIDJAR) - Located in Northwest Persia, Bidjar was a primarily Kurdish town that is primarily known for its production of rugs with symmetric knots woven in a wide variety of patterns. Late nineteenth century Garus design rugs, with their fine arabesques came from Bidjar.
  • BORLOU - The antique Borlou carpet most closely resembles the dramatic scale, informality and pleasing palette of the oriental rugs in nearby Oushak, later manifesting itself in grand room size carpets.
  • BOTEH - From the Persian word meaning 'a cluster of leaves', a boteh is a pear-shaped form frequently used in oriental rug designs. Having many variations, the boteh is a characteristic of paisley patterns. IN city rugs they tend to be smaller and more delicate than bolder botehs in nomadic or village rugs.
  • CARPET - A rug is a thick textile floor covering. Carpets are generally larger than rugs, but the two terms are commonly used interchangeably.
  • CARTOON - A cartoon is a colored grid on paper that weavers use as a guide when designing rugs.
  • CARTOUCHE - An oblong ornamental frame, often with scalloped corners, used as an architectural or graphic ornament containing a design or inscription.
  • CAUCASUS - The Caucasus are a primarily mountainous region in Southern Russia bordered by the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Transcaucasia, an area south of the mountains is where most rugs from the region were produced. Rugs from the Caucasus are brightly colored with geometric design motifs and are woven with a symmetrical knot.
  • CENTRAL ASIA - Central Asia is a region between the Caspian Sea and China with Russia to the North and Afghanistan to the South. Also called Inner Asia, it has historically been a land of nomadic tribes and of much trade across the Silk Road.
  • CHARLES FRANCIS ANNESLEY VOYSEY - Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857?1941) was an English architect and furniture and textile designer, who was influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau.
  • CHINESE - There is evidence that decorative oriental rugs and carpets have been a significant art form within the Chinese culture for many centuries, if not for several millennia. Mostly in blues and beiges, with classical symbols of longevity, elaborate lotus blossoms, chrysanthemums, cloud-band motifs, foo-dogs and birds, these antique Chinese carpets and rugs are frequently visible in paintings from as early as the T?ang Period. For the most part, designs of antique Chinese rugs are as indigenous as those of antique Chinese porcelains and silk textiles, featuring the repeating simple design devices of swastikas and fretwork. In the borders of antique Chinese rugs and antique Chinese carpets, mythical animals and scrolling vines impart mystical, cultural and symbolic meanings to the appreciation of this genre. Unlike Persian rugs, Chinese rugs are not generally associated with local rug production areas, but there are differences between central Chinese rugs and those from East Turkestan, Tibet and Mongolia.
  • CHROME DYES - Chrome dyes are fast and non-fugitive synthetic dyes used with a mordant of potassium dichromate. They are useful for dyeing wool.
  • CITY RUG - Generally produced in larger workshops, city rugs tend to be larger than village rugs, more tightly-knotted, and usually have more colors and intricate patterns. The master workshops in cities, such as Kirman, Hereke, Kashan, Tabriz, Meshad, and Isfahan are known for having produced some of the finest rugs.
  • CLOUD BAND - A cloud band is a re-curving, snake-like motif, originating in China, that is used in oriental rugs.
  • CLOUD LATTICE - A cloud lattice is a commonly used allover design pattern in Chinese rugs involving four-sided shapes, with each side having curving ends linking it to neighboring side.
  • COTTON - Cotton is a soft and fluffy fiber that grows around the seed of a cotton plant. Spun cotton is often spun into fabric and used to make clothing that is soft and breathable.
  • CUENCA (QUENCA) - During the Islamic occupation of the eleventh century, Medieval Spain was the first European country to make knotted pile rugs. The Hispano-Moresque society was a tremendously cultured civilization with diverse populations: Muslim Arab, Jewish, Christian and Berber, all intermingling for many centuries. In addition, other prevailing design influences came from Persia, Italy, and France. Along with tapestries, cushions, bed sets and chests, oriental style rugs were indispensable to the nomadic life of the Spanish nobility. In the fifteenth century, geometrically patterned Spanish carpets from Alcaraz were embellished with figural panels and emblazoned with armorials of the noble patrons who commissioned them. Throughout the Renaissance, Spanish carpet and rug making closely followed the prevailing trends of European fashion by incorporating bold wreath and trellis-work designs. Retaining the idiosyncratic structure of the Spanish knot, early Hispano-Moresque rug weavers employed the method of a single-warp knot in their carpets. The original bright red and blue colorations of these antique Spanish rugs have faded over time into the muted gold and blue tones now associated with antique Spanish carpets. Neoclassical and Turkish influenced pieces were made in the workshops of Quenca. In 1712 Charles III founded the Real Fabrica de Tapices Manufactory in Madrid and produced European style carpets to compete with the sophisticated French workshops of Aubusson and Savonnerie.
  • CYPRESS - A cypress tree is an evergreen conifer that is common near the Mediterranean Sea, which was a common design motif in Near Eastern rugs.
  • DENSITY - Knot density, also known as knot count, refers to the number of knots over a surface of a hand-knotted rug. It is usually measured in square inches or square decimeter.
  • DHURRIE - A Dhurrie is a flat-woven cotton rug from India. Traditional antique Indian Dhurries had been overshadowed by luxuriant Mughal pile carpets. In the twentieth century these antique flat-woven Indian rugs began to be recognized and lauded as a significant art form from the Indian subcontinent. Transcending social boundaries, the Dhurrie carpet was used by both commoner and royalty; at its simplest it was a multi-purpose textile used as a floor covering, bedding or packaging, while at its most elaborate it was woven with the finest fibers and enhanced by gold-wrapped thread when gracing the palaces of royalty.
  • DIAPER- A diaper is an allover pattern of small repeated units of a design.
  • DONEGAL - Hand-knotted rugs have been produced in Donegal, Ireland starting in 1858, when a weaving factory was open in the village of Killybegs. During the late 19th century Donegal became known for its fashionable Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts style rugs, designed by such individuals as C F A Voysey. Voysey and Alexander Morton.
  • DOROKHSH (DORUKSH) - Dorokhsh is a carpet weaving center in the Khorassan province in Northeast Persia. Dorokhsh carpets produced have primarily floral or medallion designs. Older carpets have a wool foundation, whereas newer carpets have cotton foundations.
  • EMBROIDERED RUG - Embroidered rugs are rugs onto which yarn is stitched onto a cloth foundation. They are also referred to as needlepoint or needlework rugs.
  • EN CAMAIEU - En camaieu refers to the technique whereby a monochromatic image is created by using multiple shades of a single color, other than gray.
  • FABRIC - A construction of spun or unspun fibers that be woven.
  • FERAGHAN (FERAHAN) - The Feraghan district located south of Tehran, encompassed the cities of Arak, Qum and Kashan, an area with a long and illustrious history of rug and carpet weaving. In the nineteenth century, many British companies opened oriental carpet factories and began to produce fine Persian Feraghan rugs and carpets for export to Europe. Antique Feraghan carpets and rugs are prized for their sturdy construction and their quiet, all-over patterns. Dense floral motifs, drawn with an angular and slightly quirky hand, give them a less feminine floral quality than the antique rugs and carpets from neighboring towns. Antique Persian Feraghans are celebrated for the liberal use of a splendid green color produced by copper salt. Wool dyed with this agent tends to wear more rapidly than portions dyed in other colors, resulting in a sculptured surface effect. The superb quality and closely sheared lustrous wool of the finest Persian antique Feraghan and antique Sarouk Feraghan rugs, long thought as being equal to the famed antique ?Mohtashem? Kashan carpets.
  • FIELD - The field is the central area of a rug, usually surrounded by a border or frame.
  • FLAT-WOVEN - Flat-woven is a word that describes a type of weave created from vertical (weft) and horizontal (warp) interlocked threads. The napless weave is also referred to as a tapestry weave or a plain weave.
  • FOUNDATION - The foundation is the combined wefts and warps in the body of a rug.
  • FRETWORK - A pattern of repeating lines, that is common in Chinese rugs.
  • FRINGE - The fringe of a carpet are the warps extending at the ends, which are treated to prevent the carpet from unraveling.
  • GALLERY RUG - Gallery rugs are usually shorter than 8 feet, and no narrower than 5 feet. Karabagh rugs often are in this category.
  • GARDEN CARPET - A garden carpet is a carpet divided into rectangular compartments containing floral motifs, based on the design of Persian gardens. They are most common in Kirman rugs.
  • GHIORDES (GHIORDES) TURKISH - Since the beginning of their production in the 18th century, rugs from the Anatolian town, Ghiordes have mostly been known for their rectilinear, colorful, multi-bordered antique prayer patterns. Prayer rugs from Ghiordes often have open fields with mihrabs or hanging lamps and stylized architectural motifs that are found on sixteenth and seventeenth century Ottoman court rugs.
  • GHIORDES KNOT - It is also called a symmetrical knot or a Turkish knot.
  • GREEK KEY (FRET) - Greek Key patterns consist of reciprocal rectilinear wavy forms.
  • HAMADAN - Hamadan, a city in Northwest Persia is an important rug-weaving center. Surrounded by hundreds of rug-producing towns and villages, Hamadan designs tend to reflect each of their local designs and are usually coarsely woven with symmetric knots.
  • HAND-KNOTTED - Hand-knotted carpets are woven from the front of the carpet by attaching the knots in rows of upright tufts. Using either symmetrical or asymmetrical knots the weaver ties an entire row of knots, cutting them individually and changing the skeins to correspond to the pattern. Then, two or more weft shoots are used to fix the rows in place and then beaten with a comb to ensure the weave's stability.
  • HAND-TUFTED - A weaver makes a hand-tufted rug by standing behind a jute or cotton foundation stretched onto a frame and inserting loops of wool from the back and not tying knots into the foundation.
  • HERATI PATTERN - Also called the "fish pattern," the Herati pattern is a common repeat pattern consisting of a flower usually centered in a diamond with and framed by diagonal leaves. It originated in the town of Heart and is also known as the Ferahan design given its frequent use in carpets from the town of Ferahan.
  • HEREKE - In the early nineteenth century, on the outskirts of Istanbul, the Hereke carpet workshop was established, becoming famous for producing exceptional, finely woven carpets of outstanding technical ability. These antique Hereke rugs often feature luxurious materials such as silk and metal-thread worked into designs emulating the antique Persian carpets of the Ottoman and Safavid Court workshops.
  • HERIZ - 19th century Heriz rugs are among the most striking and recognizable oriental antique carpets within the Persian repertoire. Familiar configurations of powerful flowerhead medallions, complementary spandrels and borders with angular stylized vinery, floral infill and bold palmettes rendered in an inimitably geometric fashion, have a charming simplicity of line. Despite their origins in fairly sophisticated workshops, a strong tribal quality exists in these particular antique Persian rugs. Heriz (sometimes known as Serapi) rugs may be found with all-over designs and abstract interpretations of willow trees or ascending shield palmettes. Traditional Heriz designs are geometric interpretations of Tabriz deigns, and in all but scale, these room sized carpets are redolent of the small antique Kazak rugs made by the Caucasian villagers to the north. Robustly constructed with large knots and often on a grand scale, the colors range from jewel tones of cherry red, navy blue and saffron yellow, to pale terracotta, sea foam, powder blue and ivory.
  • HOOKED RUG - The production of hooked rugs is a domestic craft in primarily English-speaking countries that began around 1840. Proliferating in regions where the winters were long, the climate cold and the economy limited, American hooked rugs were traditionally made by pulling a narrow strip of cut fabric up through a foundation material with a special tool. Settling in coastal New England and Canada, the fishermen, farmers and the womenfolk who emigrated from Northern Europe, brought with them traditional crafts and a common culture that led to the evolution of handmade rugs that are now considered a significant category of American folk art. Motifs for American hooked rugs were often inspired by the maker?s natural environment consisting of sea shells, fallen leaves, animals, the family dog, buildings, flowers, baskets, seascapes and landscape vignettes. From the early 1800s through the middle years of the twentieth century these original compositions allowed the rug makers an opportunity to freely express their creativity.
  • INDIGO- Indigo is a blue vegetable dye commonly used in carpets.
  • ISFAHAN (ISPHAHAN) - Located in western central Iran, Isfahan was the capital of Persia under Shah Abbas and his successors. Up until the Afghan invasion in 1722, exceptionally fine court carpets were produced in the city.
  • JOSHAGAN - Since the eighteenth century, rugs have been woven in this town in north-central Iran, near Kashan. Typically, rugs form this region have cotton foundations and asymmetric knots. Joshagan is also the name of a famous design pattern consisting of all-over lozenges, each containing geometric floral motifs.
  • JUFTI KNOT - The jufti knot, which can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical is frequently employed in the rugs of Khorassan, Iran. Since the knot is usually tied over four warps it reduced the time weaving process.
  • KARABAGH - Karabagh is the name of the rug-producing region in the Southern Caucasus, the capital of which is Shusha. Although similar to other rugs from the Caucasus in their coarse weave and symmetric knots, the rugs from Karabagh tend to be the largest. Long in format, common designs for the rugs are the Sunburst, Eagle Kazak and Herati pattern.
  • KASHAN - During the Safavid period, great carpets for the court were woven in this north central Iranian city located between Isfahan and Tehran. Kashan became the center of the Persian silk industry; its artisans renowned for the silky quality of the wool rugs produced by them. Appropriating design principles from Persian book bindings and miniatures, the existing decorative repertoire consists of central field patterns with endless or centralized repeats using cartouches or floral ornamentation. The designs of these antique Persian rugs and carpets successfully combine the ubiquitous central medallion with pendant systems, enhanced by corner spandrels and repeating floral compositions. Based upon an underlying grid system, antique Persian carpets are composed of spiral arabesques ornamented with floral and foliate motifs.The finest of antique Kashan rugs and carpets are known as ?Mohtashem,? named for the most famous weaver from that city. The marvelous symmetry of such intricate rugs can only be fashioned by experienced artisans carefully following sophisticated cartoons. The classic antique Persian rug bestows unparalleled warmth and elegance to any interior.
  • KAYSERI - Formerly called Caesarea, Kayseri is a rug production center in central Turkey (Anatolia). Due to its location along the Silk Road, rugs from the region reveal the heavy influence of Gordes and Iranian carpets.
  • KAZAK (QAZAX) - Qazax, a city in present-day Azerbaijan, is part of the Caucasian region known for its coarsely-knotted wool village rugs with bright colors and geometric motifs. Despite their village origin, the bold patterns of these carpets often serve as an excellent foundation for a contemporary interior design.
  • KHORASSAN (NORTHEAST PERSIA) - The region of Khorassan in northeastern Iran has been famed for fine rugs and carpets going back to Timurid times in the late middle ages. In the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries Khorassan became a center for the production of high quality room-sized carpets, although many of these are sometimes known by more specific designations such as Mashad or Doroksh. The range of designs is extensive, from allover to medallion formats in the classical tradition. The palette on antique Khorassan rugs or carpets is varied as well, sometimes using deep, rich tones. But many antique Khorassan rugs have a softer, more decorative coloration. Whatever the design or color, however, antique Khorassan rugs and carpets maintain a high standard of drawing and weaving technique, making them durable despite their soft lustrous wool.
  • KHOTAN - Khotan is a city in Eastern Turkestan in China that was a silk producing center along the Silk Road. It is speculated that rug production began in the region as early as the 7th century. The antique rugs of the oasis towns of East Turkestan are incomparable. These exotic oriental carpets from Kashgar, Yarkand and Khotan in the Chinese occupied Autonomous Region of Sikiang are collectively known as Samarkands. Typically, they are in a long and relatively narrow format with simplistic spacious designs rendered in a glossy wool, occasionally embellished with richly brocaded silk and metal-thread. The distinctive and prevailing colorations of lacquer reds, Chinese yellows, heavily influenced by the neighboring countries of China and Turkey, have been produced in this region since at least the seventeenth century. For thousands of years these lands of arid steppes, deserts and brutal mountain ranges were traversed by caravans of merchants and traders from China to Western Europe along the Silk Route. These unusual antique Samarkand carpets of Central Asia display themes from many oriental cultures including, China with fretwork borders, lotus blossoms and cloud-bands; India with the swastika denoting infinity; Turkey with bold reciprocal borders and carnations; and Persia with floral trellis work. Perhaps the most evocative of all the East Turkestan motifs is the pomegranate, signifying prosperity. Wo