Rugs are considered one of the most important design components in any space. They are not only functional, they add color, warmth and texture to the room and tell a story about the weaver and their culture. Turkish rugs are world-renowned for their quality, craftsmanship and rich history. Their complex compositions and beautiful motifs have inspired artists and collectors since Marco Polo first discovered their artistry in the 13th century. Whether you are looking to add a touch of elegance or create an intimate and cozy space, there is a vintage turkish rug for every taste.
The term “turkish rugs” is often used interchangeably with kilims but these two types of woven textiles are distinct from one another. A kilim is a pileless rug that uses any of several flatweaving techniques that are typically found in Turkey or other regions of the Middle East. Unlike the hand-knotted, knotted and looped pile carpets that are more commonly known as Persian rugs, a kilim is a durable textile meant for everyday use.
Kilims are the most common type of rugs in the modern Turkish rug production industry. These rugs are made by weaving warp and weft threads together to form a flat textile that can be shaped into different styles depending on the region in which it is woven. Traditionally, kilims are made with cotton and wool thread, but today, they can also be created using silk, sisal or other materials.
Turkish rugs are produced in many regions, but the city of Milas is notable for its exquisite pastels and large arabesques that often feature dragons and phoenixes. It is also home to the Kars style, a highly durable rug with thick wool and strong warp and weft threads. In addition to a wide array of geometric patterns and floral designs, there are many rugs from the region that feature stylized animals, trees, plants and other natural elements that have long been admired in the West.
The intricate motifs and designs of Turkish rugs are a clear expression of the culture in which they were woven. The motifs are an amalgam of a wide range of influences including nature, religion and the social history of the region. Some rugs are decorated with intricate geometric patterns, others may feature stylized flowers or leaves while others still boast elaborate medallions.
While you can purchase a Turkish rug from a retailer or online, scouring Craigslist or attending an estate sale are the best ways to find a vintage Turkoman piece. One of Emily’s favorite in-person sourcing tactics is hitting up celebrity estate sales where she has scored a variety of rugs for the Fig House projects.
When shopping for a vintage turkish rug, it is important to keep in mind that these pieces were designed long ago, often far away, so expect some faded and muted colors and worn spots. These variations are what give a rug its character and authenticate it as a true vintage work of art. vintage turkish rugs