Area Rug Origins

Jim Williams
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Area rug origins run deep, and for each country in existence, there are different types of area rugs. Delving into the history or area rugs can open up a new appreciation for their beauty and design.


Persian rugs date back all the way to 500 B.C. Handmade Persian rugs involve a hand-weaving process and many of the materials (wool, cotton, silk) are hand dyed. Many Persian rugs are designed to represent famous Islamic monuments, buildings, fish patterns, and vase patterns.


Flokati rugs are traditionally made in the Vlachs or Pindus Mountains in Greece. Typically these rugs are made of wool, and after it they are woven are submerged into cold river water to bring the shag out.


Many think the Navajo learned to weave rugs from the Pueblo Indians around 1300, however the extent of this is not certain. Navajo rugs were not commercially sold until around 1880. Navajo rugs are typically made with bold colors and geometric patterns.


Simply put, an oriental rug is any rug coming from the orient including Iran, Turkey, and India. Because of this, Persian rugs are often thought of as Oriental rugs.


Turkoman, or Turkmen rugs are made by people of the Turkmenistan region, or regions surrounding Iran and Afghanistan and often have the same characteristics as Persian rugs.

Colonial Braided

Colonial Braided rugs originated in America in the 1800s, and involved taking brightly colored wool and braiding them together into a circle or oval shape. When women were living on the Frontier they often used rags from old clothes and blankets to weave braided rugs.

Learning the history of each type of rug can help you appreciate the design and intricacies involved in manufacturing different kinds of area rugs.