History of Turkish Rugs - Bewleys Furniture
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History of Turkish Rugs

Turkish Rugs

History of Turkish Rugs

For centuries, Turkish rugs have been some of the most sought-after types of rugs in the world. There are good reasons why so many people have Turkish rugs in their homes.


Turkish Rugs

While there is no exact date nor is the creator of the original Turkish rug known, it is believed that the rugs themselves were created from simpler designs back in the 13th century by the Seljuks, a nomadic tribe that lived in Anatolia, what is now modern-day Turkey. Since the tribe never stayed in one place for long, a rug was needed to create a temporary floor for their shelters.

The rugs allowed them to sleep comfortably without the dirt and sand getting into their clothing. Plus, they were lightweight and easy to transport which suited the nomadic life. While several tribes in the region created rugs and the influence from Central Asia was strong, the Seljuks were the ones who perfected what is known today as the Turkish rug.

The first of these rugs were rather small and square in shape. They had geometric designs, such as squares, rhomboids, or hexagons. Crafted from wool or cotton and dyed with natural materials, the rugs also featured ornaments that gave each one a unique appearance.

The invasion of the Mongols combined with the formation of the Ottoman Empire caused the spread of Turkish rugs outside Anatolia. When it reached Europe in the 14th or 15th century, the demand for them became enormous. Renaissance artists began to paint the rugs into their works of art, weavers began springing up across Europe to duplicate the unique pattern of the Turkish rugs to cash in on the trend.

As the rugs grew in popularity, different styles started to emerge which included, but not limited to the following;

  • Anatolian
  • Kulah
  • Ghiordes
  • Ladik
  • Sivas
  • Tula and More

As rugs became more popular in Europe, the influence of European weavers and designers started to make an imprint. French baroque design started to be included in the Turkish rugs produced inside the Ottoman Empire and by the 19th century the inclusion of new materials helps reshape the rugs to what we see today.

Turkish Rugs Today

The fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I had little effect on the popularity of the rugs around the world. Their simple, elegant design combined with their lightweight, yet durable materials meant that they continued to grow in popularity over the years.

The influence of western culture has been profound as Turkish rugs have grown to become collector’s items. Their beauty, art, and durability have helped them become “palace carpets” thanks to their handmade nature. The wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles are enhancements to the basic design of the rugs which have been around for several centuries.

You can find Turkish rugs in stores and shops around the world. While they have been imitated by many, the original design is still the most popular. Simple, beautiful, and durable, this is the rug that people want in their homes.

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