Unusual Rugs From Around the World: Kazak, Oushak, and Sumak Rugs

Rug Market

Everyone’s heard of Oriental rugs and Persian rugs. But have you ever heard of a Kazak rug? What about a Sumak rug?

If you’re searching for an area rug that will add a touch of international flair to any space in your home, why not consider one of the more unusual traditional rugs linked with specific cultures all around the world? These aren’t just “rugs from Turkey,” for example – they’re rugs that are made by a specific tribe of people in Turkey, and that have been made that same way for centuries. These are rugs with a history.

In order to point the way to some of the most interesting international area rugs out there, we’ve put together a list of just a few we think will fascinate you.

1. Kazak Rugs: These rugs are a product of the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains. You know the word “Caucasian?” This is where it comes from! The people who live in Kazak, a city in the Republic of Azerbaijan, are varied: Turks, Armenians, Albanians, and Northern Caucasians.

For the most part, the designs on Kazak rugs stem from those of Armenian heritage. The patterns are geometric, with richly detailed borders, and a prevalence of red and blue dyes. They are made of hand-knotted wool. Kazak rugs have been popular for centuries, but most of the antique Kazak rugs still in existence today were made in the 1800s.

Our Eastern Oriental Tribal Kazak Rug is the perfect example of their unique designs:Kazak Rug2. Sumak Rugs: Unlike Kazak rugs, which are named for their place of origin, Sumak rugs are named after the technique used to make them. Rather than being woven normally, Sumak rugs are made by wrapping colored yarn around several warps at once, and alternating these with thin, plain wefts, resulting in a flat weave. (For a quick lesson on warps and wefts and other rug weaving vocabulary, click here.)

Sumak rugs also come from the Caucasus Mountains, made by the nomadic tribes in the region. They were originally made to provide a durable floor covering for large tribal gathering spaces. Their designs are playful, with vibrant colors.

Our Safavieh Sumak Taupe Rug takes its design inspiration from the tribal originals:

Sumak Rug

3. Oushak Rugs: Another rug named after the town it comes from, Oushak rugs originate in the western Turkey town of Oushak. This town is world-renowned for its silky wool rugs, which are double-knotted, hand-spun, and herbally dyed. They feature muted, earthen tones, such as cinnamons, terracottas, golds, ivories, and grays, and have been prized since the 15th century.

Oushak rugs were so popular for so long, and over such a widespread area, that it is thought that they were the original source of Oriental rugs with a medallion in the center.

Our Trans Ocean Petra Oushak Blue Rug is a great example of the earthen tones employed in these rugs:

Oushak Rug

So if you’re looking for a unique addition to your home – something with a rich history to explain its intricate design and deep colors – look no further than one of these intriguing international rugs.