An oriental rug is a heavy textile made for a wide variety of utilitarian and symbolic purposes and produced in “Oriental countries” for home use, local sale, and export. Oriental carpets can be pile woven or flat woven without pile, using various materials such as silk, wool, and cotton.
An oriental rug is woven by hand on a loom, with warps, wefts, and pile made mainly of natural fibers like wool, cotton, and silk. In representative carpets, metal threads made of gold or silver are woven in. The pile consists of hand-spun or machine-spun strings of yarn, which are knotted into the warp and weft foundation. Usually the pile threads are dyed with various natural or synthetic dyes. Once the weaving has finished, the rug is further processed by fastening its borders, clipping the pile to obtain an even surface, and washing, which may use added chemical solutions to modify the colours.
Pazyryk: The first surviving pile rug
The oldest known hand knotted rug which is nearly completely preserved, and can, therefore, be fully evaluated in every technical and design aspect is the Pazyryk carpet, dated to the 5th century BC. It was discovered in the late 1940s by the Russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko and his team. The carpet was part of the grave gifts preserved frozen in ice in the Scythian burial mounds of the Pazyryk area in the Altai Mountains of Siberia The provenience of the Pazyryk carpet is under debate, as many carpet weaving countries claim to be its country of origin. The carpet had been dyed with plant and insect dyes from the Mongolian steppes. Wherever it was produced, its fine weaving in symmetric knots and elaborate pictorial design hint at an advanced state of the art of carpet weaving at the time of its production. The design of the carpet already shows the basic arrangement of what was to become the standard oriental carpet design: A field with repeating patterns, framed by a main border in elaborate design, and several secondary borders.
We have travelled for over twenty years sourcing the best examples of Oriental rugs, we only buy rugs of high quality and character. Our selections of Oriental Rugs are carefully selected from established and experienced weavers, who use vegetable-dyed hand-spun wool or the finest materials available.
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