Oriental Rugs: Rugs Of Romania

Since the middle ages, when Romanian weavers learned the art of rug weaving from their Ottoman rulers, Romania has produced hand-knotted rugs for export on regular basis. Production of rugs was very limited until after the second World War when the government-sponsored weaving centers, or cooperatives, were established. At that time, significant efforts were launched to reproduce Persian designs, specially Tabriz-inspired patterns. Since then, Romanian rug manufacturers have been most successful in developing new qualities and designs to meet Western decorative tastes.

Weaving in Romania is performed exclusively by women and is a closely supervised government enterprise. The wool used in Romanian rugs, although relatively coarse, is resilient and lustrous. The predominant quality of rugs produced today is the “Bucuresti” quality in which the tightness of the weave is approximately seventy knots per square inch (KPSI) and is woven on a cotton foundation into a pile of 100% natural wool. Four other qualities, Milcov, Mures, Braila, and Olt are also produced with knots that range from seventy to about two hundred knots per square inch.

Traditionally, most designs have been inspired by Persian patterns. Most popular in the Bucuresti quality are Persian designs such as Heris, Kashan, and Sarouks executed in traditional colors and in a broad range of fashion colors. Sizes range from very small pieces to palace-sized rugs, with hall runners up to more than thirty feet long. In addition, a more limited selection of non-Persian designs has widened the realm of decorative choices available in all qualities. Among these are antique-style reproductions of Caucasian and European rugs such as the floral French Savonnerie.

Old Romanian Rug

Old Romanian Rug

Equally important are Romanian Kilims which are part of a rich folk art tradition. Their best historic examples are treasured museum pieces. Romanian weavers today continue to use traditional flat-weaving techniques to execute the very characteristic curvilinear floral designs. These often incorporate geometric motifs and display a wide range of decorative colorations. Romania offers a tremendous production potential mainly due to its talented and well-trained weavers and to its high quality control standards. Thanks to the weavers’ adeptness at executing a variety of design types in both pile and kilim rugs, today’s buyers have a realm of decorative choices at their fingertips.

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