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The Importance of Persian Rugs in History

 
05-31-2010  |  By: Rebekah |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

The Persian Empire, also referred to as the Achaemenid Empire, spanned parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe.  At its peak, the Persian Empire was the largest empire in recorded history.  Known to exist circa 550 to 330 BCE, the Persian Empire is credited with the creation of many culturally rich artistic works, including antique Persian carpets.

                                   

Ancient Persians are renowned for the creation of a method of weaving dyed wool fibers into antique rugs that are true works of art.  The sturdiness and beauty of these rugs quickly made them sought after for regions far distant from the Persian Empire.  Persian rugs became the number one export of the region, and persist today as one of the top money making exports for the Iranian nation.  Historically, Persian rugs turned simple weavers into wealthy artists, and created an ongoing trade income for the region.

 

It was during the Zoroasterian period, around the 5th century BCE, that wool and silk woven Persian rugs became extremely popular with rulers and royalty.  But antique Persian rugs also have historical importance for religious reasons.  The 8th century AD saw the rise of Islam, and Persian carpets were put to a new use.  Whereas the courts had preferred large, room sized rugs, practicing Islamists needed smaller, more portable carpets for use as prayer mats.  During this part in Persian rug history, the rug designs began to incorporate design elements from varying regions.  Scrolling vines, medallions, and figural designs became particularly prevalent.  Figural designs were popular with people in Islamic regions then.  This preference hasnt changed much, and more Persian rugs with figural designs exist in Iran than are exported elsewhere in the world.

 

Hand and loom weaving are still prevalent methods of creating Persian rugs, though mechanized manufacturing turns out more, and less expensive rugs than does hand creation.  However, hand weaving developed differently in different regions of Persia, and many people still pass down this knowledge to their children as a means of preserving historical culture.  It is generally believed that modern Persian rugs are not as strong as antique Persian rugs, though many of the hand weaving processes are the same that have been used for thousands of years.  The change in quality is thought to be related to the quality of the raw materials available.  Where special sheep were once raised to produce superior wool for use in the carpets, that practice is rare in modern times. 

 

Antique Persian rugs are often sought for their beauty, but they are a rich part of history.  The art of creating quality wool and silk, hand woven rugs is responsible for bringing much ongoing wealth to the Persian region.  Even small villages with few resources are able to continue to thrive because Persian rugs are a lucrative export.  When shopping for an antique Persian rug, consider more than the designconsider the history it has helped to create.

 

Antique Rug Fringe is More Than Just for Looks

 
05-27-2010  |  By: Nicole |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

Most antique rugs have fringe on the ends.  This is common in antique Persian rugs, antique Oushak rugs, and even many new oriental rugs have fringed ends.  Though many owners like the look that this fringe creates, many others do not care for it much at all.  Carpet fringe gets dirty and is difficult to spot clean.  Fringed ends often get caught in vacuums (tip:  vacuum side to side instead of lengthwise to avoid this problem), and caught damage to the precious antique rug that was so carefully selected and purchased.  Many customers lament that it is difficult to find rugs, antique rugs in particular, that do not have fringed ends. 

                                                                           

What many people may not know is that the fringed ends of antique rugs serve a purpose, which is why fringed ends are so very common.  The fringed ends of antique rugs are essentially the skeleton of the rug.  Each individual tassel is made of fibers that run through the rug to the other side, where they come out and are tied off into another tassel.  The fringe is a series of knots, or tassels, that help hold the entire weaving of the rug in place.

 

Of course, being vital to the wellbeing and longevity of the rug does not make fringe tassels any less of a cleaning and care hassle.  Getting caught in vacuums tears the threads and damages the entire skeleton of the antique rug.  Walking on them wears the threads out, and gets them dirty.  Tasseled fringe is one of the most common parts of an antique rug that need repair and replacement.

 

A quality antique rug company can easily take care of any repairs or replacements that a tasseled fringe might need.  Both repairs and replacements of antique rug fringe usually start with stitching up the end of the rug to ensure that the skeleton fibers stay in place and intact.  Once the overcast stitching is completed, new tassels can be sewn on in place of tassels that are worn out, using careful hand sewing techniques.  Hand sewing is important as it helps ensure that the integrity of the antique rug is kept intact.  The new fringe is usually put over top of the existing fringe base, and the worn fringe is often trimmed quite short to maintain the look of the carpet.  Overlaying new fringe not only refreshes the look of the rug, but it also helps protect the rug edges from additional wear. 

 

Antique rug fringe tassels do take a bit of maintenance and care in order to ensure that the integrity of the rug's fiber weaving remains intact.  Though fringe can be a hassle when it comes to cleaning and care, worn fringe must be replaced by antique rug experts.  Without maintenance and necessary replacements, the entire skeleton of the antique rug can unravel, leaving the owner with a mess of strings instead of a beautiful antique rug that will last.       

 

The Qualities of Antique Oushak Rugs

 
05-21-2010  |  By: Nicole |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

Antique Oushak Rugs are a beautiful and unique classification of old rugs named after the city of Usak in Turkey.  These carpets are known for being made with great attention to detail and quality, and are steeped in a rich historical tradition.  Though many people are not as familiar with Oushak carpets as they are with the Persian counterparts, the rugs are considered to be some of the finest Oriental rugs available.  They make a lovely addition to a homes dcor, and knowing more about the characteristics of these floor coverings can be helpful when researching purchasing options.

 

The history of Antique Oushak Rugs reaches back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  Many of the true masterpieces of these old rugs from that time period have been classified as Oushak in origin.  The name derives from the city of Usak, as this city was one of the largest in the region of Western Anatolia, where the carpets were made.  The patterns common to these floor coverings were made in other regions as well, but are largely attributed to that area.  There was a period of decline in the production of rugs from this area during the seventeenth century, as many European markets were choosing to go with rugs created in Europe.  When interest re-emerged in these Antique Oushak Rugs in the nineteenth century, the region adapted its techniques, sizes, and designs to become what is most commonly associated with these old rugs today.

 

Antique Oushak Rugs are most commonly recognized by the distinctive star and medallion patterns that many of them employ.  The rugs are created with sumptuous colors, commonly with a soft red as a primary color with bright backgrounds.  As the rugs progressed, Persian rug traditions such as floral patterns also became available, as well as a wider range of sizes to suit a broader market.  The old rugs are woven with their characteristic high quality, silky wool that brings out the vibrant, unique colors and creates a product that holds up well and ages beautifully over time.

 

The history and qualities of these floor coverings show an attention to detail and durability that can be a good jumping off point to learning more about carpet choices.  When looking for an old rug to use in the decoration of a room in a home, looking toward the various options available can provide a great deal of variety for a purchaser.  The unique characteristics of each type of carpet available brings forth an avenue for any design style that fits with the rooms needs.  With a beautiful range of design and size options available in Antique Oushak Rugs, they are a valuable avenue to consider when making a buying decision. 

 

Consulting an Antique Rug Dealer

 
05-20-2010  |  By: Nicole |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

When searching for antique rugs, consulting with an antique rug dealer can be a helpful avenue to making sure the purchase will be enjoyed for years to come.  As an antique rug dealer has often specialized for years in this area, they can provide useful guidance and information when navigating the decision making process for what is often a focal decorative item in the home.  Asking questions about the size, quality, and price options available in antique rugs is a good start in finding the perfect rug for any home.

When looking for a rug, one of the most important factors would be the size.  An antique rug dealer will be best able to help in this regard if he or she is provided with proper measurements.  It is vital that accurate measurements for the intended floor space covering to be taken, as guessing can lead to the buyer coming home with a rug that is much too small to properly fill the space, or even worse, one that is too large for the room.  The size of these carpets is dependent upon the size of the room, and the intended furniture in the room, so measuring the available space will make it possible to get the  product that is best for its intended use.

The quality of antique rugs is an important factor to research properly when deciding on a purchase.  Quality is often referred to in terms of how closely the fabric is knotted, expressed in terms of knots per square inch.  The higher quality rugs will have a larger number of knots per square inch, creating a denser material that can hold up better over time.  Beyond the actual techniques used in the carpet, the quality of the materials will determine how well the item wears, as well as the comfort in can provide.  Some rugs use higher quality wools in their construction, cause them to age better and more beautifully than their lower quality counterparts.  An antique rug dealer can be helpful in navigating these characteristics so that the purchasers can be sure they are getting the home accent that will last them for years to come.

Finally, price will play a role in the process of making a decision about what rug would be ultimately best for a homes needs.  Antique rugs are available in a wide range of price points and can be chosen to fit many budgets.  Of course, higher quality, older, and larger rugs will be more expensive than lower quality, newer, or smaller counterparts.  The expense can be worth it for achieving the desired look and durability of a carpet, which makes careful financial considerations of the options a must.  Whatever the desired outcome in an antique rug, working with an antique rug dealer can be a great resource in making a decision.

 

History of Antique Persian Rugs

 
05-13-2010  |  By: Nicole |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

Antique rugs can add a look of warmth and elegance to a homes dcor.  The beautiful, rich colors and patterns of an antique Persian rug makes these items among the most well known floor coverings available.  As wonderfully detailed as these woven masterpieces tend to be, so is the history of their existence. 

 

The art of carpet weaving can be traced through recorded history.  The first written documentation of antique Persian rugs appeared in Chinese writings from over 1500 years ago.  An unusual archeological find in 1949 of remnants of what is called the Pazyryk carpet was found to be over two thousand years old.  Though examination of this carpet indicated a long history of developing advanced weaving techniques, such ancient finds are unusual due to the properties of natural fiber, which degrades over time.  In what remnants that have been found from so long ago, it is often difficult to tell much about the weaving techniques or patterns because of their worn out nature.  As techniques and trends changed over time, little is known about the true origins of these old rugs.  As time progressed, wool and silk antique Persian rugs were valued by royalty and sometimes cut into fragments to distribute among victorious soldiers as spoils of war. These carpets were not only floor coverings, but used as wall decorations and status symbols.

 

Though historians believe that most aspects of the creation of these carpets has been altered slightly over time, the most common materials for the rugs has stayed the same.  Wool and silk are the desired materials in the newer as well as the antique rugs.  Wool carpets are the most common, as silk is not as durable.  The rich history surrounding the creation of these floor coverings are a large part of the surprising variety and complexity of the patterns available on the old rugs.  The decorative representations of a multitude of cultural and historical elements make antique Persian rugs a desirable home accent.  Common motifs present include architecture, plant life, geometric patterns, and other all-over patterns that make each rug special.

 

Antique rugs have traditionally been woven by hand, which is a part of why they have been considered so valuable.  Depending on the skill and experience of the weaver, rugs can have a wide range of complexity and quality.  The highest quality rugs, of course, would require more time to complete.  The increased time taken to make the rug by hand meant that each work of art would take months to complete.  When looking for the perfect rug, research and contact with an antique rug dealer online or in person can help find the right accent for the home.

 

Designing a Room With an Antique Rug

 
05-11-2010  |  By: Nicole |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

Designing a new room or giving a room in need of revitalization a makeover can be challenging.  With so many design styles and personal preferences, the choices can get overwhelming very easily.  Fortunately, whether the goal of the room is to feel traditional or eclectic, cozy or romantic, often the easiest way to begin planning the room is the use of an antique rug.

 

No matter the desired look, a vintage or antique rug can be found to tie together a design concept in a room.  The popular Persian floor coverings from bygone eras were made in a wide range of sumptuous colors with intricate patterning.  These woven works of art can be found in a variety of patterns that depict architecture, plant life, and geometric designs, among many others.  Another fine example of beautiful floor coverings are antique Oushak rugs.  These often display star and medallion prints in luminous colors that have the effect of warming and enlivening a living space.

 

The benefits of designing a room around a beautiful floor accent do not end with adding color and pattern.  The use of a antique rugs in a space have the tendency to dampen excess noise by preventing sounds from echoing off bare floors.  Also, they create a sense of intimacy to conversational spaces and comfort to reflective spaces.  The use of coordinating colors in accessories can tie together the room into a cohesive whole that will be inviting and purposeful, no matter the intended use of the area.

 

When working in a large room, the use of more than one antique rug is possible, and often necessary.  The use of multiple mattings can create spaces for separate purposes within one large area.  By coordinating the rugs through similar patterns or colors that work well together, a room will look polished and together, even within its multiple separate areas.

 

An important step before choosing the rug is to know the measurements of the room.  Area rugs look best when the bare floor around them can be used as a border, so it is best to keep them from touching the wall in the room.  Setting them too closely to other patterned floor accents can also have the effect of causing guests eyes to spend more time looking at the floor than enjoying the visit.  After measuring the room, it is easier to determine the size, pattern, and number of rugs that will work well within the space.  Then it is easier to determine the other pieces and accents in the room.  Using an antique rug as a base makes decorating a room an enjoyable experience and creates a finished product that can be appreciated for years.

 

Go Green with Antique Oushak Rugs

 
05-06-2010  |  By: Nicole Bremer Nash |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 
Reminders to reduce, reuse, and recycle are everywhere.  Recycling programs are in most schools and businesses, and new technologies in energy efficiency are making it easier than ever for homes to be comfortable and use less energy.  Local, state, and federal governments offer more and more incentives for businesses and homeowners alike to invest in energy efficiency. 

Reusing is the best possible way to recycle.  By simply reusing, it keeps materials out of landfills, and cuts down on energy costs because the item doesn't have to be processed and cleaned.  Decorating with antique Oushak rugs is a healthy way to reuse items that are already Earth-friendly.

Antique Oushak rugs are made of natural fibers including sheep and alpaca wool.  The wool in antique rugs has most often been processed into useable fibers by hand and without the use of toxic chemicals.  Oushak rugs are traditionally dyed with natural vegetable dyes which also do not contain harmful chemicals.  Wool and vegetable dyes are hardy materials that last even through continuous heavy use, which is why antique Oushak rugs are highly sought after for home and office interior design.

Antique Oushak rugs have been knotted by hand by artisans in the Oushak region of Turkey.  Non-electric hand looms have also been used historically, though loom use is a more modern way of working.  New Oushak rugs can be purchased from Fair Trade organizations that work to ensure that the artisans who spend hours upon hours designing and hand knotting floor mats for export to other countries' interior design markets receive a fair price for their efforts and materials.  If antique rugs that suit the room design cannot be found, new rugs made through Fair Trade efforts are an eco-friendly and socially responsible way to go.  Purchasing antique rugs is also eco-friendly in that no new materials have to be obtained.  This means fewer livestock need to be raised, which means less deforestation to make room for herds.   

Rugs made of natural fibers, and dyed with natural vegetable dyes, and manufactured by hand without the use of plastics and chemicals do not give off noxious chemicals as they degrade over time.  Of course, antique wool rugs do not degrade very quickly at all, which is why so many are still available.  Using rugs that do not give off chemicals is important for the health and safety of the persons who use the rug.  It also helps improve air quality, which is better for lungs. 

Reusing is the best possible way to recycle, and being green includes considering the methods used in manufacturing as well as the effects on indoor air quality and other indoor health hazards.  Natural wool rugs are a great decorating choice for eco-conscience shoppers, and antique Oushak rugs offer a great way to recycle as well.