An oriental rug isn't just a rug - it's a work of art! Art with a long tradition, heritage and cultural significance.
Let's start with the meaning of an oriental rug. There is a lot of misunderstanding here.
Many people tend to think any type of carpet with a pattern or from the east is an oriental rug.
A genuine oriental rug is one that is hand-knotted and following one of the historical weaving traditions
of the Far East or Middle East. Real ones are not made from nylon or polypropylene either.
A quality rug will have more knots per square inch (this is its density). A really nice one will have
500 to 1000 knots per inch.
Oriental rugs can be divided into different groups based on the region the style and technique used
in the rug design. The main groups are:
Caucasian oriental rugs are those in style of the caucasus mountains.
Very few rugs come from the region today, most
that are around were made no later than the second part of the 19th century.
These rugs tend to be made with bright geometric designs in primary colors.
The well known types of caucasus rugs are Gendje, Karabagh, Kazak, Baku, Daghestan, Shirvan, and Talish.
Persian rugs have a curvilinear style. The main areas they come from are Northwest
Persia, Central Persia, Southern Persia, Western Persia, Southwestern Persia, and Eastern Persia.
Turkey was once known as Anatolia and rugs from the region are sometimes called Anatolian rugs.
These rugs are divided into three different areas: western, central and eastern.
How to care for your oriental rug
A good quality rug should last many years, even long enough to pass on to the nexy generation.
It will wear faster if it gets more foot traffic, like right inside the front door of the house. And if
people walk on it wearing dirty, heavy shoes, etc. Traditionally, in the cultures that developed oriental rugs,
people took their shoes off before walking on their rugs.
Your rug can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, or beaten, if necessary.
To learn more about oriental rugs, I suggest visiting either of these two sites:
JACOBSEN Oriental Rugs or
Islamic Art's Oriental Rugs page.
See the rest of the Rug Decorating Guide series of articles to learn all you ever wanted to know about rugs (and more)!
Natural fiber rugs,
Bear, zebra and other animal skin rugs,
Rugs for specials needs and special rooms,
and Kilim rugs.