Persian rugs are more than just floor coverings; they are pieces of art. Their designs and patterns feature floral and geometric shapes that are woven with meanings.
The master weavers that wove these rugs were free of market influence, allowing for self expression. They created a visual balance and harmony with color, resulting in masterpieces that are timeless.
Persian rug weaving is a time-honored art that stretches back over centuries and encompasses a vast array of designs, motifs and styles. While many of these are purely aesthetic, some have fairly profound meanings. For example, star motifs symbolize spirituality and good luck, lilies represent purity, and boteh – the paisley pattern – represents the universe and flame.
The art of rug weaving reached its pinnacle in the 16th century, during the Safavid dynasty’s reign. Weavers of this period were free from market influences and were able to weave rugs without restraint. They used natural dyes, which created far more nuanced colors than the synthetic dyes of modern times. Because of this, these rugs have more of a timeless feel to them. They can be incorporated into contemporary or traditional interiors and add interest and intrigue to the space.
Vintage Persian rugs are among the most diverse and beautifully designed of all antique >Oriental rugs. With mellow color tones, unique designs and beautiful patina, they are becoming increasingly sought after. However, it is important to note that there are some factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting a vintage rug. For example, avoid rugs with large repairs as this detracts from the true value of the rug.
The weavers of classic traditional Oriental rugs used design symbols to convey meanings, whether for their tribe, their family or the concept they were trying to express. For example, a pomegranate may symbolize fertility and the boteh, or paisley motif, may signify eternity or flame.
These symbols were often used in combination to create intricate, alluring designs and hue-shifting palettes that inspire even modern designers to incorporate them into their work. The result is that an antique Persian rug can become more than just a floor covering; it can become a visual statement of timeless style and culture.
Antique Persian rugs have long been prized as works of art that are both beautiful and highly decorative. Their perfectly proportioned motifs and effortless fluidity are often cited as the secret to their ageless appeal. They are also sought after by major taste makers and designers as investments.
In general, high quality Persian rugs are made of wool and some include silk fibers as well. The best wool (known as Kurk) is sourced from sheep that have been sheared in spring, and it can be obtained for only a small window of time, ideally coinciding with the sheep’s first shorn season. Most rugs are knotted, and the knot type and density are important factors when it comes to determining rug quality. The Turkish and Persian knots are two of the most commonly used knots for rugs.
From all-over floral patterns to primitive tribal designs, vintage Persian rugs bring an enchanting blend of classic beauty and modern style to any room. The luminous shades of natural dyes made from vegetable, plant, and animal materials create a harmonious composition that is enchanting to the eye.
Red was a key color in old Persian rugs as it symbolized power, passion, and confidence. Weavers sourced their red from madder root as it delivered rich, deep dyes. However, snails, beetles, flowers, and even weeds served as other primary red coloring agents.
Green is a symbol of balance and harmony as it is associated with the renewal of nature. It also symbolizes hope and new life. Yellow stands for radiance and happiness as it represents the sunshine. Finally, gold is a traditional color that symbolizes wealth and prestige as it was commonly used in Persian carpets custom designed for royal and prominent families.
With their rich hues and enchanting designs, Persian rugs have long been coveted for their ability to create a harmonious ambiance in living spaces. However, these beautiful woven treasures typically come with a hefty price tag and tracking down one can be a difficult process. Fortunately, modern styles are available that offer many of the same traditional characteristics as antiques but at a more palatable cost.
Traditionally, rug weavers relied on natural dyes sourced from the roots, shoots and leaves of plants indigenous to their region. For this reason, certain colors predominate in Persian rugs. For example, red was derived from madder root, yellow from chamomile and onion, black from acorns or tanner’s sumach and blue from indigo.
These motifs and patterns also represent specific regions or tribes that wove the rug. Some even have deeper meanings that can be appreciated by connoisseurs.