Why are They Called Oriental Rugs?

Oriental Rugs

When you’re looking for the best type of rug in the world, you are shopping for an Oriental rug. This much you know. What you don’t know, however, is why they are called Oriental rugs. Oriental rug is a generalized term for handwoven rugs and carpets, woven on a loom, of thick and high-quality textiles. When you think of “The Orient,” you’re probably imagining China. That doesn’t mean that these rugs were made in China.

Why are They Called Oriental Rugs?

An Oriental rug can be from any number of countries. By the strictest definition, Oriental rugs are carpets hand knotted only in Asia. Iran, China, India, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Tibet, and Nepal are the biggest exporters of Oriental rugs. Persian rugs are a type of Oriental rug, but they are made only in Iran. Iran was formerly known as Persia.

These areas are so great at creating rugs because they have been doing it for literally thousands of years. They have had generation after generation of artisans perfecting this craft.

The art of carpet weaving existed in Persia and the surrounding areas in ancient times, according to evidence and in the opinion of scientists. In fact, the first documented evidence on the existence of Persian carpets came from Chinese texts dating back to the Sassanid period (224 – 641 CE). Yes, that’s almost 2,000 years ago! Historical records show that the Achaemenian court of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae was decked with magnificent carpets. Alexander II of Macedonia was said to have been amazed and impressed by the carpets in the tomb area of Cyrus the Great. This was over 2500 years ago!

Why are Oriental Rugs so Special?

It’s no wonder that Oriental rugs are sought after by the entire globe. They are known for extremely rich color combinations and unique designs. Because each rug is handmade, they are known for their tremendous variety in design, color, size, and weave. 

The natural dyes in an Oriental rug are derived from plant materials and insects such as indigo, madder, oak, sumac, pomegranate, cochineal, and larkspur. It isn’t only the rich hues that make them so special, but also the weave. “Counting knots” is a way to judge if the rug they are thinking of buying is one of a high quality. Beyond the knots, it’s important to consider the material. A thin material, like silk, will need to be knotted many more times than one may from wool.

Thanks to the uniqueness of each and every rug produced, you’ll never worry about you and someone else having the exact same Oriental rug. 

Shop for Oriental Rugs in New Mexico

Those looking to buy an Oriental rug in New Mexico have the experts at Serafian’s to call upon. We want to make your shopping experience a successful one. This is why we aim to educate our shoppers, not simply sell to them. With any additional questions about Oriental rugs, reach out and ask. We’re happy to answer them all!

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