Whether it’s adding a touch of bohemian allure to a nursery or anchoring a living space with a sophisticated yet timeless rug, vintage turkish rugs are a designer go-to. The layered colors and intricate patterns of these handwoven textiles are not only durable and long-lasting, but they also embody a rich cultural expression of Turkey’s history.
The artisanal tradition of Turkish carpet weaving has developed over centuries as the country has served as a hub connecting the great civilizations of Asia and Europe. It was from the country that the first rugs arrived in the West, when the Seljuks came from Central Asia in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. These carpets so impressed European painters of the time that they often featured them in their paintings.
As the rug weaving industry flourished, so did its culture. The blending of various tribes that populated Anatolia – Turks, Armenians, Caucasians and Kurds – with the motifs of Islam and ancient Turkish art forms produced the distinctive style that is known today as Turkish carpet.
Generally speaking, these Turkish rugs are split into two types – kilims and carpets. Kilims use a flat-weave technique that produces no pile and are reversible while carpets are tied with the Turkish double knot and have a short pile.
The most sought after Turkish rugs are those from Oushak, Hereke and Sivas. These rugs are admired for their natural abrash gradations, elegant curve-linear designs and sophisticated floral elements.