Archive for November, 2013

Persian Oriental Rugs: Today’s Rugs

Hand-knotted Persian carpets and Oriental rugs are the very latest floor covering fashion statement. In fact, interior designers all over the world have discovered their impressive versatility in style, color, type, and size, and are using them to define or enhance not only residential but also commercial decors. Oriental area rugs and Persian carpets of today are woven to suit an infinite domain of decorative styles spanning the traditional Oriental looks to the European, Art Deco, and contemporary. Buyers can choose, for example, Persian-style carpets featuring traditional hues or a wide array of timely decorative colorations. Also, In addition to the tremendous variety of pile rugs, the buyer can choose from an impressive selection of flat-woven pieces, including Indian Dhurries, Persian Kilim, chain-stitch, and Belgian needlepoint rugs. Moreover, sizes run the full gamut in response to the variety of today’s decorating needs. Reproductions of older pieces of Persian rugs easily coordinate with the fabrics and traditional furnishings of many Western homes.

New Pakistani Peshawar Rug

New Pakistani Peshawar Rug

Most interior designers and rug dealers will advise that the most logical way to decorate a room is to start with your Oriental or Persian rug. By extracting a single color from the rug, one can influence the room setting’s entire color and design scheme including that of wall and floor covering, upholstery, curtains, and other window treatments. At the same time, a rug’s pattern can stimulate the mood for the particular furniture style to be utilized in the same room. For example, a hand-woven rug exhibiting the French floral Aubusson design could be the first step in establishing a formal French ambiance or at least some European mood in the room.

However, incorporating the modern Oriental rug into an existing decor is now virtually problem-free thanks to the infinite variety available. A particular decorative scheme can inspire the use of a specific rug type and style. For instance, an 18th century English decor could be the ideal setting for an English-patterned needlepoint rug as well as for a traditional Chinese Peking carpet. On the other hand, in a less formal decorating environment an Indian Dhurrie or a Persian Kilim might be the perfect choice. Experienced home owners can testify that Persian carpets and Oriental area rugs can be used in a variety of room settings. In fact, with a little imagination you can transform an interior space into one that is vibrant with personality thanks to the addition of a handmade Oriental or Persian rug. Also, due to the tremendous (and increasing) variety in rug types and in the range of prices that have emerged during the last few decades, this decorating option is now within virtually every buyer’s reach. The floor of any room is perhaps the most prominent decorative component – accounting for one third of a room’s total space – and therefore deserves to be adorned with only the best. Persian and Oriental rugs can visually connect two otherwise unrelated spaces with much ease. A piece of Oriental Persian rug that you feel totally comfortable with will most likely look the best in your home. With the expanding choices available to today’s rug buyer, selecting the right piece of artwork for your floor requires a considerable amount of your time and patience.

Antique Persian Mashad Rug

Antique Persian Mashad Rug

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Oriental Rugs: Rugs of Afghanistan

Although Afghanistan shares a border with Iran on its western side, its carpets and rugs have more in common with the tribal weavings of Central Asia in regards with color, design, and weave than with their relatively more sophisticated Persian counterparts. Just like many similar cultures, the Afghans are a nomadic, tribal population constantly moving around from one place to another. Their rugs, woven on small, portable, wooden looms, are mainly produced for use in their private homes, and almost always for decoration purposes. Therefore, it is not surprising that Afghan rugs are available in limited quantities and usually in smaller rug sizes. Many feature natural-dyed hand-spun Afghan wool of very good quality. Various qualities of hand-knotted rugs are available in Afghanistan, ranging from coarse to medium in weave, in addition to flat-woven Kilims.

A Typical Afghan Rug

A Typical Afghan Rug

During the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between real Afghan rugs and those produced in Iran and Pakistan by Afghan refugees who fled their country during its war with the Soviet Union followed by the Afghan civil war. Afghan rugs are characterized by easily identifiable geometric patterns, the reason being that they strictly observe the principles of Islam, in which the display of human and animal figures is usually to be avoided. In addition, Afghan weavers have not been subject to much pressure from Western markets to produce for Western tastes. There are several types of Afghan rugs. The most widely accepted design is the “Afghan Bokhara”, represented by the gul motif, a large, quartered octagon also called “elephant’s foot”, generally displayed in columns or rows and framed within a border. They come in only a handful of different colors, the most common of which would be a rich red. Also popular are the nomadic Balouch rugs, generally prayer rugs with geometric designs. Most Afghan rugs fall into the dark red hues (occasionally blue) with black or dark blue motifs and sometimes with minor touches of ivory or green.

Lately, Afghan weavers have produced an interesting selection of “war rugs” exhibiting stylized depictions of military equipment such as tanks, grenades, and guns which are a clear image of the violent environment influencing the region throughout the 1980s. Of all the carpet types available today Afghan rugs are probably the most truly authentic expression of a weaver’s culture. They hold a special appeal for buyers seeking truly original ethnic expression in Oriental rugs.

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