Vintage Turkish Rugs – A Designer Go-To

Vintage Turkish Rugs are a designer go-to because of their unique color pairings and geometrically executed patterns. They are also highly durable, and can help a room feel pulled together with their intricate craftsmanship.

Throughout the centuries, rug weaving has been a revered and cherished cultural practice in some of the world’s most significant societies. The Turkish rug industry is a case in point, brimming with historic and contemporary masterpieces that have built the country’s reputation as one of the world’s leading rug producing regions.

Like Persian rugs, which feature a rich tradition of their own, Turkey’s wool carpets offer both classic and sophisticated compositions. From the symbol-filled Anatolian kilims and palatial medallion carpets to the more decorative styles, this area’s heirloom-worthy designs and lush palettes are coveted by decorators worldwide.

As a major component of Middle Eastern rug weaving, Turkish rugs are distinguished by their lush constructions and symmetrical Ghiordes knots. This distinct technique, which uses weft and warp threads to create a double layer of yarn, imparts both durability and opulence to these beautiful floor coverings. Moreover, it was the Turks who first introduced Oriental carpets to Europe, and their elaborate rugs have since made a tremendous impact on Western tastes.

From the pristine kilims and sultry Oushak rugs to the textured Sivas and Hereke pieces, Turkish rugs offer a stunning variety of designs, sizes, colors and finishes. For example, a classic Oushak rug from the sixteenth century showcases the popular octagonal motif of “Gol”, which is a geometric pattern derived from Persian carpet design. It is a repeated motif, often twofold rotational symmetry that symbolizes eternity.

Unlike many other rug weaving regions, which use synthetics for cost-effectiveness and performance, most Turkish weavers employ only natural fibers in their work. This is why you can find finely woven Turkish rugs that are still entirely handmade. However, the weaving process has evolved as well, with weavers adapting their ancient skills to reinterpret traditional designs with bolder ornamentation and more figurative and geometric motifs.

As the most cosmopolitan rug production region in the world, Turkish rugs display an extraordinary range of styles and textures. The classic Turkish melas, or prayer rugs, for instance, are known for their spectacular lighter and mid-tone greens and striking Madder reds, while Bergama rugs are prized for their dramatic multi-medallion patterns. In addition, the best Turkish town rugs from the first three-quarters of the 19th century showcase blossoming “tree-of-life” or lantern motifs.

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