Do you know the origin of the rug that is currently gracing your living room?
Rugs have come a long way. In post-modern times, rugs are made with a combination of artistic design, religious connotation and cultural design. These rugs can be passed from one generation to the other as heirlooms because of artistic nature and value, especially if the rug has been created in certain regions and by esteemed artisans. The history of rug making is a long and coloured one, much like the rugs themselves!
In this post, we'll take you on a trip through some of the early forms of rug making and touch on some of the most famous rugs in history!
Early Forms of Rugs
Rugs are actually some of the earliest objects invented by man. The widespread use of rugs in Persia, South-Western and Oriental regions was an extremely common practice. The first rugs to be made were produced using animal skin found on various hunting expeditions but were devoid of the artistic and stylish touch that is present in the current floor coverings. Their use was entirely practical, and a means of providing a little extra warmth and comfort. Over the years, these sketchy floorings have evolved to become the modern rugs you use on your floor today.
That being said, the raw natural look of a rug from these times would be quite the wonder to behold.
King of Persia Spring rug
The Spring Carpet of Chosroes was owned by the Persian king and it is believed to have existed around 550 BC. The rug was hand-knotted and was made using fine wool, silk, gold and even silver. There were some precious stones imbued too. This rug was 400 feet in length and 100 in width and was unfortunately destroyed along with the kingdom during a war. However, some parts of the carpet are still available in the most famous museums in the world for viewing.
5th Century Siberian rugs
Another early form of rugs that resemble the modern day rugs we know today are the Pazyryk Carpets, which were discovered in a Pazyryk burial site in Siberia. These rugs were made and used since the 5th century. They were also hand-knotted and had a rich composition of various colours and artistic designs. They were different from other ancient rugs because they were made from fibre and contained various depictions of Scythian art. These days rugs can be found in many different types of materials, but during this time in history - the use of fibre was unique. Explore rug styles from across the world here.
Egyptian inspired carpets.
The Egyptians were among the first people to make hand-woven rugs. The Egyptian rugs were uniquely elegant, and they featured geometrical designs.The Egyptian mats were inspired by Persian and Anatolian designs.
The rise of pile rug weaving in Europe
The Asian and the North African nationals invented their rugs around the time of 900 AD. The European countries started in 1000AD, whilst the other nations had already established their rug making methods and styles - along with some slightly different uses too. The Asians were using the rugs as clothing for protection against the cold.
On the other side, Europeans from Germany, Spain and Venice use the rugs for special occasional and other important community gatherings. The rugs from Spain were quite heavy and resembled the ones from Egypt. Most of the European countries started producing their rugs by the 19th century. It is known that most of the royalties and important people of the times used to change their rugs on a daily basis.
Modern Day Carpets
Today modern carpets designs are inspired by traditional rugs all over the world, along with completely new concepts arising from purely artistic design unrelated to cultural inspiration. Whilst the old methods and styles of rug making are not as common as they were previously, there are still many skilled artisans in various countries continuing the tradition of producing unique and fine rugs.
These traditional rugs are still very valued. They are quite expensive to buy, but are very much likened to a work of art and are therefore a worthy investment. The appreciation of time and craftsmanship that goes into the highest levels of rug making is certainly not lost in modern society, and for that we're glad as this style of rug is easily discernable from power loomed rugs and contain a certain beauty that is obvious to even the untrained eye...