Carpets have long become an important decorative detail in any cozy interior. In addition to the aesthetic function, carpets provide sound and heat insulation. That is why many people cannot imagine a comfortable interior without a soft carpet, which is so nice to walk barefoot. We shall look at the different types of ethnic rugs and how they can be incorporated in contemporary homes.
Carpets and rugs date back to antiquity when they were used for decorating and warming any dwelling – from the yurts of nomadic peoples to the luxurious halls of the imperial palaces. The oldest surviving carpet from Central Asia dates back to the 5th century BC. But for thousands of years carpets were a sign of prosperity and social status. Persia is believed to be the birthplace of carpets and for centuries the East was the main supplier of carpets all over the world. Amazing silk carpets from Kashmir, wool carpets from Iran, Turkey and Pakistan decorated the floors and walls of homes far beyond Asia. Fashion trends come and go and luckily, those days when carpets were considered old-fashioned are in the past. Nowadays there is a huge selection of carpets of any style and for every taste and designers often use the carpet as a focal point in the decor of the interior.
To begin with, we need to answer the question what ethnic rugs are and how do you recognize them? Experts argue about the concept of “ethnic” with respect to patterns and prints. There are lots of ethnic groups and tribes around the world and it is not possible to classify all different patterns, colors and styles. However, if you use the geographical principle, you can define several large types of ethnic rugs – Persian, Turkish, Moroccan, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Aztec, Scandinavian, etc.
Why choose ethnic rugs to decorate a modern home?
Ethnic motifs hold a high position in clothing, accessories and, of course, interior design trends. In our hectic world with an abundance of metal, asphalt and cutting edge technologies, people started looking for something simple and cozy, something that returns them to their roots and help them find inner balance and harmony when they get home. Obviously, we are used to the comfort of benefits of civilization so living the lifestyle of our ancestors in a reconstructed home is not only impossible but laborious and expensive. However, we can use various color combinations and traditional patterns in the decor of our home as a connection and link to the past.
Ethnic rugs are a great way to add character, style and individuality to any home. Nothing adds more identity and home comfort to the interior like a carpet with ethnic ornaments. Deep and rich, really warm colors and the dynamics of lines and patters make an unforgettable impression. Another plus of ethnic carpets – they blend organically in completely different interiors in a variety of decor styles like rustic, boho chic, eclectic, eco-style and even in contemporary designs.
Besides the character, an ethnic rug creates an atmosphere of warmth and comfort with the natural tones, natural material and uncomplicated patterns. Ethnic patterns are very graphic and will be a perfect addition and highlight in any home and if you plan a monochromatic color scheme, an ethnic carpet will make it more harmonious and integral.
One major advantage of authentic ethnic carpets is that they are manufactured from natural materials and nowadays designers and decorators pay special attention to naturalness. Eco-style and natural materials are at the peak of popularity and a vintage carpet works with natural fabrics, leather, wood, metal, etc.
Another plus for choosing an ethnic carpet is that it is an original and stylish addition to eclectic – a harmonious mixture of elements from different styles. Such interiors provide a lot of freedom for creativity and you can use the carpet as a highlight in the interior.
What are the most popular types of ethnic rugs ?
Ethnic carpets make living space look space cozier and perhaps the reason for this is the magic of traditional ornaments. Let’s have a look at the most popular types of ethnic rugs and their main characteristics.
Persian rugs – Persia is an ancient country and all of us have heard of it in fairy tales. Persian carpets are inextricably linked with the history of the ancient country and the art of carpet weaving was passed on from generation to generation. The carpet was the most expensive family value which showed the wealth and nobility of the family name. Nowadays, “Persian carpets” is used as a term which refers to products from Iran, they are considered to be the national heritage of Iran. The production of carpets is an integral part of the culture of this country and some Iranian families still pass on the secrets of ancient masters from generation to generation and each region has its own distinctive style and patterns. Usually, carpet designs are named after the region, village or particular tribe, for example – Tabriz, Isfahan, Qum, Gabe, etc.
Typically, Persian rugs are made of wool yarn and the design features four main patterns: all-over, central medallion, compartment, and one-sided. A distinctive feature of Persian carpets is their appearance. Most often plant and animal motifs prevail in the design. Another distinctive feature of Persian carpets is the contrast. The typical colors are deep indigo blue, red, ivory, sage green, golden yellow. Handmade carpets come with a high price, but having in mind that these are unique rugs, made of natural materials and will retain their colors for centuries, the cost is more of an investment than an expense.
Moroccan carpets and the special charm of simplicity
Moroccan carpets are appreciated for their dynamic colors and bold geometric patterns. They are unique and their history can be traced back to the 7th century AD. It was women who weaved carpets and they passed on their knowledge and traditions of carpet making, weaving techniques, family distinctive patterns and colors from generation to generation. The main characteristics of Moroccan carpets are the simple geometric patterns, dynamic colors and abstract design, simplicity which has a special charm. Moroccan carpets were traditionally woven by Berber tribes who used them as tents, bed covers, sleeping mats, saddle blankets and it is the simplicity of design makes them so attractive. One of the largest Berber settlements is in Morocco and nowadays the country is among the main producers of Berber carpets. These rugs have stood the test of time and thanks to their simplicity, they will be the perfect accent in any home interior.
Turkish rugs – ancient traditions of carpet weaving and modern technology
Since ancient times, Turkey is famous for its unique carpet products. Turkish masters create the most high-quality and stylish carpets that can decorate any room. Turkish carpets made of wool are famous for their strength, durability and warmth. Thanks to the properties of natural wool, the rugs are characterized with high density, which is an indicator of high quality and durability, they maintain an optimal micro-climate in the room and insulate noise. Turkish carpets are among the favorite ones of designers and decorators due to the fact that they are very original, durable and visually pleasing to the eye. Authentic handmade carpets are a valuable asset for the collections of sophisticated connoisseurs of art and collectors of antiques.
Depending on the material, there are several types of carpets – rugs made of natural wool, carpets woven from natural silk threads (silk), carpets with a cotton base and woolen pile. The ornament is one of the most important features of Turkish carpets. All ornaments are completely different and feature a huge variety of lines, geometric figures, plant elements, symbols and signs. Ech one has a special meaning which makes Turkish carpets truly unique. Another feature of Turkish rugs is their distinctive color palette. Traditional colors of Turkish carpets are all shades of red and beige-brown. Red color and its various shades symbolize joy, luck and wealth while the beige-brown tones are symbols of peace and tranquility. Of course, each region has its own motifs and patterns, plant and animal ornaments. Some of the most famous regions where rel works of art are manufactured are:
- Bergama region with its typical black, red, green, blue, yellow and pink colors;
- Konya carpets, recognizable with the dominance of pastel colors;
- Kula carpets – strong geometric design and rich colors from the earth tones – rust, green, gold, and blue which are blended with pastel colors;
- Milas carpets feature Geometric designs are dominant and different shades of brown, gray, brick red are mostly used.
- Oushak rugs – famous for the extraordinary diversity of floral motifs and compositions.
Handmade Turkish carpets are considered to be one of the most beautiful and popular among both antique and modern models.
Indian carpets are unique and add a touch of luxury to the interior. Historically, carpet weaving was introduced in India in the 16th century by the great mogul Akbar, who invited Persian craftsmen and weavers to produce carpets for his palace. Initially carpets were woven with Persian patterns but later on original Indian patterns were developed. Indian carpets can be singled out for the unique kind of art, because they are woven mainly by hand, and each product has its own unique color, pattern or ornament. The cities of Srinagar, Amritsar and Agra are known as centers of high quality carpet weaving.
Indian carpets are light, colorful, bright, with an unusual pattern, strong, durable and very pleasant to the touch. Traditional designs feature a variety of colors – silver and gold, yellow, purple, sky blue and dark blue, green, brown and white. Such diversity reflects the inner and outer world of India as the nature of the country is so interesting and colorful. Such a carpet is universal and the richness of colors is an immediate eye catcher in every interior and in a modern home you can use it as a focal point for designs in different styles.
Mexican rugs made by the weavers in Zapotec in the region of Oaxaca are world famous for their unique colors and patterns. The traditional patterns in a Zapotec rug are glyphs, fretwork animals and idols and they represent the history and culture of Teotitlan Del Valle. Elements of the natural and mystical world like butterflies, lightening, mountains, rain, birds, stars, a cactus flower, the sun and moon, the caracol snail symbolizing communication, numerology, etc. are included in the design of the rugs and give a special character to every carpet.
Modern interior design offers a variety of styles which are focused on deep colors filled with life and energy. Handmade ethnic rugs will not only be an outstanding decorative element but will surely become a family heirloom.