Generations after generations rug making have spread around the world. From Asia, then to the Silk Road, and to the lands of Anatolia. Every day we see tons of other styles and rug types and other textiles that are decorating our floors. However, sometimes we just enjoy the music for the eyes. On the other hand, the beauty and delicacy lay in the details with their art! In short, once we look deep into variations of the rugs we are hardly taking our eyes away.
The craft of making rugs dates back more than millennia. In fact, the oldest known rug has been found and was excavated from the Altai Mountains in Siberia in 1948, that is to say. Archeologists discovered Pazyrik Rug in the grave of the prince of Altai near Pazyryk 5400 feet above sea level. It clearly showed how well hand-knotted rugs produced thousands of years ago. With radiocarbon testing it was revealed that the Pazyryk carpet’s story dates back the 5th century B.C. thus it is approximately 2500 years old. To clarify, the advanced weaving techniques and the sophisticated design and construction, used in this rug, suggest the art of carpet weaving to go back much further than the 5th century B.C.. to be at least 4000 years old. Today the rug is in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia.
To sum up, here, we have curated some of the specific rug types that can be handy for anyone to recognize. In the end, it is possible to categorize them with other features like techniques, and functions, for instance
Pile Rug Types
Pile rugs are probably the most known versions of the handmade and oriental rugs around the world. They can be Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, Egyptian, Caucasian, Central Asian Chinese, etc. They can be wool on wool (a mostly softer type of oriental rugs) or wool on cotton. Simply put, a rug’s pile refers to the density of fibers—flat (short pile) or shaggy (long). (There are also Tulu rugs (a lot longer ones) but, hang in there we will get back to them later!!)
Looking closely, it is possible to see that the fibers on an area rug are actually tiny loops woven into the rug’s backing. Rug pile is the name of these loops, the height of the rug pile is the distance from the top surface of the loops to the backing of the rug.
Flatweave or Kilim Rug Types
The word kilim simply means a flat-woven rug type or rug without a knotted pile. Gelim in Persian, kelim in Afghanistan, kylym in Ukraine, palas in the Caucasus, bsath in Syria and Lebanon, chilim in Rumania and kilim again in Turkey, Poland, Hungary, and Serbia. Moreover, the Plains of North America to Scandinavia and Indonesia also are another cradle of flat weaving. At times there is only a structural similarity. In short, the disciplines imposed by the materials and techniques often result in strikingly similar designs.
Soumak – Embroidery Soumak Rug Types
Soumak is a type of flat weave, somewhat resembling but stronger and thicker than kilim, with a smooth front face and a ragged back. Meanwhile, hand kilim is smooth on both sides. This technique lacks the slits characteristic of kilim. It is usually woven with supplementary weft threads as continuous supports.
Cicim/Jijim Rug Types
Jajim, Jijim, or Cicim. It describes a decorative device, often set against a balanced plain-weave or weft-faced weave background. Turkish nomadic people mainly used the Cicim technique rug types. Although occasionally Persian and Caucasian kilims have the same technique. mothers teach the skill to their daughters. Salt bags, tent hanging, floor covering storage bags as serving for daily life.
Silk is an expensive material. Representative carpets of the Mamluk, Ottoman, and Safavid courts were usually silk on silk rug types. Silk warps have tensile strength due to their structure, but silk also appears in the carpet pile. Silk pile highlights special elements of the design in Turkmen rugs, but more expensive carpets from Kashan, Qum, Nain, and Isfahan in Persia, and Istanbul and Hereke in Turkey, have all-silk piles. These gentle carpets are often exceptionally fine, with a short pile and an elaborate design. Mechanical stress is not a good friend of silk piles. Thus, all-silk piles embellish homes as wall hangings or pillow tapestry. Silk is more popular in rugs of Eastern Turkestan and Northwestern China. However, the weaving is more coarse in those regions.
Felt wool is the oldest type of rug textile. Therefore, many cultures have legends as to the origins of felt making. Urnamman of Lagash discovered the secret of feltmaking as Sumerian legend claims. The story of Saint Clement and Saint Christopher relates that the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters while fleeing from persecution. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks.
Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and other Central Asian countries. The name is from the Persian سوزن Suzan which means needle. These textiles amazingly not disappear in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Tullu, Tüllü or Tulu
Tulu is the English pronunciation for the Turkish word, “tüylü” meaning hairy. The technique used for weaving is very similar to “gabbeh” in Persian rugs, “Beni Ourain” rugs of Morrocco and “ryijy” in Finland. All have been produced for functional purposes rather than commercially and in mountainous regions, so they all have a thick pile for protection against cold. Their weaving is more coarse so they can be woven faster at home that the sophisticated fine rugs that can only be woven from a pattern in workshops. They mostly had “primitive” designs and used undyed hand-spun wool or few colors.
Fragment rugs are all types because they are out of every type, pile, soumak, kilim, you name it. The reason why they are this way is that they are old. Due to the natural structure of rugs made of their substances they do break. Most of the collectors usually sew them into linen to put the piece together so that they stand as one piece. This way they do continue to be a part of our decor and embellish our areas whether on the wall or on the floor.
Now you have a grasp of the rug types, you can determine which one is for you. Do not forget that they are all gorgeous with all of their features whether the technique, texture, or vibes differ them. Let us dive into the world of beautiful tapestries from all around the world and see more of it by seeing and dreaming!
All in all, All types are unique to themselves and there is a lot to discover. Check other interesting facts about rugs on our website and let us know what you think about our blogs through the contact. If you like the content please also subscribe to our newsletter for further blogs and writings.