Rug weaving has been a tradition in the Near East, Middle East, and Far East for more than 3,000 years. Each culture in this region has since developed its own rug patterns, ornaments, and motifs. Together they are classified as traditional “Oriental” rugs.
Highly regarded for their quality and design, Oriental rugs are highly sought after by homeowners and interior designers. And because of their history and beauty, they have never gone out of style.
What exactly are Oriental Rugs?
Oriental rugs are hand-knotted rugs that originate from Eastern countries, such as Turkey, Pakistan, Tibet, China, Iran, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Mongolia, and Armenia, among many others. Each of these countries has its own distinct culture, but the term has stuck and is still used to categorize high-quality rugs with intricate designs.
These rugs were traditionally hand woven using a loom. The strings of yarn used to make the rugs were, and still are, painstakingly knotted into the weave to create the intricate and ornate designs that we see hanging in showrooms and rolled out in homes.
Since the countries of origin for Oriental rugs primarily practice the Islam religion, the rugs are also called Islamic carpets and are sometimes also referred to as Persian carpets.
Is There a Difference Between Persian and Oriental Rugs?
Persian and Oriental rugs are terms used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be. There are key differences between Oriental rugs and Persian rugs.
The easiest way to explain the difference between the two types of rugs is: all Persian rugs are Oriental rugs, but not all oriental rugs are Persian.
Persian rugs only come from Iran, while Oriental styles come from the larger Asian continent. Other differences between Persian and Oriental rugs include:
- Persian rugs have a distinct knot style.
- The bottom of a Persian rug is an exact replica image of the top pile.
- The bottom of the rug is soft, using the same material as the top pile.
- In Persian rugs, the knots are visible. You can count the knots per square inch.
Are Oriental Rugs Still in Style?
Oriental styles date back to pre-Christian times when nomads would weave them for their daily use. In the Middle Ages, the beauty and value of these rugs were acknowledged in Europe. They were laid down in houses of the elite and royals.
Given how long the rugs have been around and how fast décor trends change, it’s no surprise that the modern homeowner who has taken an interest in Oriental rugs wonders if they are still in style.
Oriental rugs are still very much in style! They are an excellent addition to any space, both commercial and residential. Even better, the designs of the rugs have also evolved and can now complement modern, classic, and traditional palettes.
What Oriental Rug Designs are Trending?
It’s almost impossible to go wrong with an Oriental rug. You just need to match the right rug design to the ambience and décor of the room it will be placed in. However, there are a few designs that are currently turning heads and receiving loads of attention.
- Neutral – In a real estate market dominated by contemporary designs and natural colors that create the illusion of space, neutral oriental rugs are shining. These rugs ground the space, creating a beautiful centerpiece that complements any room without becoming overwhelming. Neutral designs are perfect for homeowners who cherish the traditional rug touch but prefer to have a hint of modernity with it.
- Floral motifs – Modern, hand-knotted Oriental rug designs now also feature new motifs. Among the most widely received are floral motifs. They come in a diverse range of colors and designs suited for different homes and décor preferences. The floral motifs can come in natural and soft colors or bold and intense varieties like blue Oriental rugs. The Herati and Boteh are excellent examples of the timeless floral motif design.
- Geometric patterns – Geometric pattern oriental rugs consist of angular and straight lines. They can also include rectangles, triangles, and other angles. These are perfect for minimalist spaces to create just enough visual interest without competing with other décor . Geometric patterns are timeless because of their simplicity and diversity. If you prefer geometric patterns with a traditional touch, the Gabbeh, Kilims, and Hamadan rugs are all excellent choices.
- Traditional rugs – Traditional oriental rugs are highly sought after. They are considered more of a collector’s item than a decorative piece. They attract a premium price tag, and you will often find them hanging on the walls of their proud owners. However, nothing stops you from adding these desirable works of art as the centerpiece of the floor of your home. You just need to know how to mix the modern and traditional styles like a pro!
If you’re still uncertain about the oriental rug design that would work for you, check out our designs and ideas page to draw inspiration and help you find a style and color that works.