Vintage turkish rugs are a designer go-to. With their rich, oxidized hues and intricate botanical designs, these antique pieces add elegance to rustic living rooms and palatial drawing rooms alike. A Turkish rug embodies the rich heritage of an ancient culture that has a special place in history as one of the largest contiguous land empires ever established.
Across the years, as the fortunes of the empire waxed and waned, so too did rug weaving techniques evolve to reflect the changing times. From the flat-woven kilims that originated in Anatolia to the lush knotted rugs known as hali, the Ottomans oversaw many important advancements in the craft of rug making. They also helped develop new patterns and motifs, such as the Crivelli Star and Ghirlandaio styles which played on the popular central medallion format.
The Ottomans took control of the vast Anatolian land empire in the fourteenth century, inheriting the rug weaving tradition from the Seljuks and Timurid dynasties. Weavers adapted their traditions to the changing times, introducing innovative patterns while maintaining the popularity of many other cherished styles. For instance, the iconic prayer rugs with decorative pillars and angular mihrabs, small repeating guls, floral and figurative patterns and fluid Safavid-style arabesques became regional icons.
The demand for these exquisite artisanal treasures rose sharply, especially in Europe. They soon found themselves adorning the floors of European palaces and in the works of many of the great Renaissance artists, such as Memling, Lotto, Holbein and others. The resulting demand for these prestigious rugs drove production even further up the scale, bringing the craftsmanship to a high point.
From the polished, royal Authentic Oushak collection to the tribal Caucasus Kula, these vintage rugs from Turkey are the perfect solution for modern, eclectic interiors. With their natural abrash gradations, colorful palettes and asymmetrical, stylized floral motifs, they showcase unique color pairings that can effortlessly tie together an elegantly edited room.
The main types of Turkish rugs are kilims and hali, both of which can be flat-woven or hand-knotted. The latter feature the distinctive Ghiordes knot, a technique in which each weft (crosswise) thread is wrapped around two warps (lengthwise), yielding lushness and durability. Both kilims and hali can be woven with various patterns, but the most sought-after are those featuring floral motifs and geometric shapes.