Oriental Rugs22 May 2018
Oriental rugs are carpets woven with Turkish and Persian knot technique in an extended area including Iran, Anatolia, Central Asia and Caucasia.
Some of the oriental rugs that preserved until today, loomed in beginning of the 16th century. There is no certain information about when or where the oriental rugs woven for the first time. Although many theories have been put forward by various carpet experts up to this point, most of them stayed as hypothesis.
It is clear from these oriental rug paintings made by Italian and Dutch artists and manuscripts, there were several design and waving schools in the East.
Carpets woven in Persian Carpet School, which constituted by Shah of Safavid Dynasty in 17th century, shows that art of carpet waving reached a peak in that period.
Besides carpets woven in Iran, there were centralised carpet workshops in Anatolia. Carpets loomed in these workshops had more different patterns composed natural design then carpet woven in Iran. Because carpets woven in Anatolia have especially geometric patterns and polygonal connected star motives with arabesque convolutions.
These designs used for the carpets loomed in Caucasia an Armenia with some changes. In that term of time, Cairo was an important carpet production centre. Spain was also a large centre of carpet waving, when it was under the hegemony of Arabs. The most beautiful carpets woven in Spain in 15th century, today on display at Spain museums. These rugs woven almost same style as carpets woven in Anatolia, except they were usually woven with single knot.
There are three different types of knotting technique such as Persian knot, Turkish knot and Spanish knot. In addition to these three basic knot types, there are also feathered waves which are woven by the continuous throwing of wool. It is very difficult to distinguish these knots from the usual carpet knots when they are cut off.
It is important to specify a substantial matter. Recently, some of the carpet types have been named geographically incorrect. For example; today carpets known as Polish rugs are silk carpets woven in Iran in the time of Shah Abbas the first. Most of it gold and silver embroidered asserted that woven in Poland during the initial investigations, because they carried the insigne of the famous Polish families. In reality, some of these rugs imported from Iran by a Polish merchant. Other part of them brought to Europe by Iranian ambassadors as a gift to the rulers and elite families. These same type and quality carpets named Polish carpets duo to their insigne and signs, although they were woven in Iran.
These oriental carpets still in Correr Museum, were kept in St. Mark State Treasure. These silk carpets woven entirely in Iranian style at the time of Shah Abbas, evidently shows how high the art of ornamentation is in Iran at the time.
Many of these precious oriental carpets which are no longer found in Iran, are found in European museums. These are worn out due to their usage and they have completely lost their novelty and beauty.
There are various activities to promote the carpet industry in international markets. The 11th summit of the International Conference on Oriental Carpets, which has been held at different countries around the world since 1976, was held in Istanbul in 2007.
The most important feature of the International Conference on Oriental Carpets’ Istanbul meeting is to bring international scientists, experts and collectors together. Carpets, rugs, pillows and dresses at caravansaries, palaces, mosques and houses on the historical trade routes from Asia to Anatolia were restored due to this conference and presented to the Turkish and Islamic Museum of Art, Topkapi Palace and Vakıflar Carpet and Kilim Museum.
Under favour of this organization, 1000 foreign guests including the most important collectors of the world have come to Istanbul. Public exhibitions and city trips were organized as part of the event. It is an activity that should not be missed for those who went to buy antique carpets, since there are committees that determine the actual values and the year they belong.
International Conference on Oriental Carpets is important to recognize the authentic carpets and waving arts which will carry the socioeconomic existence of different cultures in the various artistic spectrum with historical and geographical dynamism.