Hooked RugsHooked Rugs
Below is just a sample of the antique carpet styles we have on hand. Visit our showroom to view our full collection of rugs. We have rugs in many sizes (small to large, area to runner), patterns (simple, geometric, all-over, etc.) and colours and will personally explain the background of each rug, its characteristics and its origins to you. Our policy of allowing customers to take the rug home "on approval" allows you to actually see how the carpet suits your room decor and gives peace of mind in your purchase.
The Persian city carpets are distinctly floral, representing leaf, bud and flower. They generally show a tendency towards naturalistic drawing with graceful intricate lines. Their color schemes of delicate tones are not only beautiful, but are in perfect harmony. The regions of Feraghan (consisting of cities Arak, Qum, and Kashan), Tabriz, and Khorassan, are known for their production of the traditional Persian carpets. Traditional antique Persian carpets have remained essentially unchanged for centuries and are known for their sturdy construction and all-over or medallion designs.
The tribal rug is essentially a one-of-a-kind work of art usually created by nomadic or semi-nomadic people living in small villages or on the open plains. The raw materials for the rugs came from their own animals or were bought from shops along their travel route. The names of tribal weaving areas in Iran are usually tied to a nearby city and/or to the name of the tribe. The Bakhtiari are a colourful nomadic tribe from South Central Persia who produced rugs with bold and dynamic weavings. The western Persian region of Senneh is known for complicated floral motifs. However, some of the most recognizable and well-known antique Persian carpets are from the Heriz region of Serapi and Bakshaish. There is a strong tribal quality in these carpets, despite their origins in fairly sophisticated workshops. They are generally constructed on a grand scale using large knots and colour tones ranging from jeweled to pastels.
The Caucasus is a relatively small rug producing area extending about 300 miles from the Caspian Sea. As there was a widespread diffusion of patterns throughout the entire region, identifying and classifying Caucasian rugs cannot be done by design alone – it must be done through a combination of construction technique, colour and design. Caucasian rugs have enormous appeal due to their vibrant colours and bold geometric and angular patterns.
Kilims are flat weave, pileless rugs that were primarily made to serve a variety of practical functions suited to a nomadic lifestyle. Their uses included such things as floor coverings, animal trappings, bags, and draperies. It has been long assumed that the fabrication of kilims predates the pile carpet as they utilize much simpler production techniques.
The finest flat-woven carpets and tapestries have been produced in Aubusson, France since before the 1770s. To become a “Master of Tapestry” took years of long and hard apprenticeship. Even today, carpets of the most exquisite quality are produced in Aubusson under the control of the French Ministry of Arts.
The Navajo tribe of North America produced pileless rugs that were coarsely woven with commercial spun wool yarn and plied cotton. Most were very brightly colored and are quite charming.
The knotted carpet only exists in India as an act of importation by the Mughal rule in the 16th century. Probably because of the region's warm climate, which does not require protection from cold, the knotted carpet was unknown in India until then. The Mughal rule encouraged the weaving of carpets in the North Indian cities of Agra, Amritsar, Lahore, Srinagar and others. Mughal rulers promoted the weaving of Indian versions of the classic Persian floral, garden and hunting carpets. Later in the 1800s, under the rise of British rule, traditional carpet designs were adapted to correspond to more western tastes.
Carpets have been produced in China for centuries. Designs of antique Chinese carpets are, for the most part, as indigenous as those of Chinese porcelains and textiles. The artistic language used is primarily based in symbols drawn from the natural world, local myths, Buddhist and Taoist religions, or abstract designs. Some of the most common symbols are the dragon (union of the earthly and celestial forces and the emperor), the phoenix (immortality and the empress), the Fo-dog (protection from evil), the lotus flower (purity and summer), and the swastika (cosmic rotation). Chinese carpets generally tend to be composed of blues and beiges.
In North America, the making of hooked rugs as a traditional folk art reached its zenith around the latter part of the 19th century to the early part of the 20th century. These rugs were made using simple materials such as re-cycled woolen fabrics and handmade hooks and contain images of pets, garden flowers and homes.
The tribal peoples of the mountains crossed modern day geopolitical borders as if they did not exist. The Baluchi tribes for example, extend from Eastern Iran through Western Afghanistan and into Pakistan. An Afghan rug made by a Baluch tribe is made entirely of wool and were woven on horizontal looms. Herat, in the Western part of Afghanistan, was once considered part of the Persian Empire, and was historically one of the greatest artistic centers in the Middle East. An Afghan rug from Herat is distinguished by its incredibly fine level of workmanship and very tight weave.
Each Turkish carpet has a distinct signature style native to the specific region it was woven. The carpet designs and materials used in its’ production, varied by region and could include wool, silk, and metal thread. Turkish rugs tended to be composed of primary colours and traditionally used a smaller colour palette than their Persian counterparts. Antique Oushak carpets are especially coveted and highly esteemed as objects d’art due to their larger scale, relaxed structure and riotous use of colour.
With the Islamic occupation of the 11th century, Spain was the first European country to make knotted pile rugs. Design influences came from the diverse local population of Muslim Arab, Jewish, Christian and Berber as well as Persia, Italy and France. Antique Spanish carpets are known for their muted gold and blue tones and all-over designs.
The history, genealogy, beliefs and nomadic, or semi-nomadic, way of life of the Turkmen steppe peoples are all of great importance to their art. Turkmen rugs with their distinctive red to red-brown palettes, geometric ornamentation, motifs and compositions, are not merely examples of a strange and exotic 'folk' art but represent a highly complex and historically continuous culture.