One of the most important factors where rugs are concerned is knowing how to identify rug origin. Rugs from different countries around the world – even different cities within those countries – come from entirely varied traditions. This can often be seen explicitly in the rug’s design. Rugs from north African countries have wildly different patterns and colours compared to many Asian styles.
It’s not just the designs though: the way in which a rug is manufactured varies from place to place as well. For those well-versed in rug identification, this can often be the key to understanding the history behind each rug. We’ll be running through some of our favourite rug-producing countries, and we’ll delve into the history and manufacturing process of their unique rug styles.
Belgium has always been a great source of European excellence when it comes to the manufacture of high-quality rugs. In terms of rug identification, many Belgian rugs take inspiration from age-old Persian traditions and combine them with a sense of clean-cut efficiency and modernity.
Intricate patterns are interweaved with bold colourings, and sometimes even dare to use cubist-inspired blocks alongside traditional middle-eastern flowing designs. Many of our rugs come from small family manufacturers in Belgium – be sure to look out for the stories behind each rug to get a sense of the journey that it’s been on!
Bustling Egyptian markets often spring to mind when thinking about rug and carpet trading. In the north-easterly corner of Africa, some of the world’s greatest rug weavers are at work. Egyptian rugs often have geometric patterns that conjure ideas of structure and continuity, and many are flatweave rugs.
It is widely thought by historians that Egyptian weaving influenced early Persian rug designs in the 15th and 16th centuries. Fragments of such designs were found in both Cairo and many Turkish towns, and the later spread of the Ottoman empire in the middle-east is a crucial factor in the spread of artistic design.
In the 16th century, the Persian empire introduced rug weaving to India. There was previously no demand for rugs because the country was so hot for much of the year, but the wondrous Persian designs seemed to have captured the imagination.
Indian rugs are known for being intricately crafted, and often have the distinguishing feature of being asymmetrically knotted. They are also renowned for being generally quite heavy rugs, as they have a deep pile and Indian rug weavers often use coarser wool than traditional Persian rugs.
This is definitely not a bad thing at all, as the texture of an Indian rug is like no other. It also means that the rug is much more durable and can withstand day-to-day wear much better than many other rugs. The backing of these rugs is often cotton, but it is worth noting that silk is often used on lower-pile Indian rugs, marking a fabulous interweaving of materials. Indian rugs are truly a showcase of expert crafting.
Source: Pinterest (Catherine Dorsen)