ORIENTAL CARPET means carpets from the East and
in fact it means carpets made in the Orient, and
can be used for any carpet of Oriental origin,
despite it's appearances or the way it is made.
This expression is usually used to describe handmade
carpets applying traditional methods in the vast
regions of Persia (Iran), Anatolia (Turkey), Afghanistan,
Baluchestan, Turkmenistan, some parts of India,
Caucasus, China, Pakistan, and partly in the Balkans.
rarely define exactly where a carpet was woven
or how old it is. The tribes where emigrating,
mixing and copying from each other their traditional
designs and tinges.
end of the 19th century, many carpet where made
on demand, far from their homeland, to satisfy
the needs of Western market. In some towns, villages
and tribes, that where important weaving centers
in the past, carpets are no longer woven, even
though, products that they where famous with,
can still be found and bought in the antiquity
stores. On the other hand, after the Second World
War new centers using mostly ancient motives from
their neighbors appear.
carpets are commonly called the real carpets,
even if this term is inadequate, since imitations
appreciate the oriental carpets not only as useful
objects, but also as works of art and masterpieces,
which fascinate us with diversity of their motives,
symbolism, imagination and colors.
Muslim owns a carpet for prayers, while the Islamic
religion is considered to be the base for designing
most of the carpets worldwide. For this reason,
many experts prefer using the expression the Islamic
textile art, since the oriental carpets, from
a long time ago, are considered to be a part of
the religion of the Islamic world.
define the oriental carpets by the way they were
made. They can be hand woven or hand knotted (entangling).
The first are, generally known as rugs (kelim)
and they are cheaper and rare to find. The second
are known as knotty, entangling carpets and are
universally considered to be, aesthetically, the
most important and best quality phenomena in the
oriental textile art. They are usually of high
quality, even though we can sometimes find poor
quality samples on the market, most of which are
long lasting; and if provided with enough attention
and care can last for decades.
up, we can conclude that authentic oriental carpet
must be hand woven or hand knotted, coming from
one of traditional carpets region, and has to
follow specific primordial schemes, compositions
the theoretical part of the task easier, it is
necessary to classify oriental carpets. They can
be grouped together in accordance to the design
and motives: carpets with hunting scenes, patterns
in the shape of medallions, flowers or vases;
carpets for praying and carpets with geometrical
The second method would be according to the manufacturers,
and whether the carpets were made by nomads or
semi-nomads with constant winter residence, or
by artisans in workshops.
Due to the fact that the most common way to classify
the carpets is by their place of origin, I will
also use this method. Carpets can be classified
in the following five groups:
- Iranian (Persian), the biggest and most
- Turkmenistan group, which includes the
famous red carpets, as well as the Turkmenistan,
Afghanistan and Baluchestan carpets made in Central
- Caucasus (Russian) group, which includes
carpets where the geometrical patterns, is the
- Turkish (Anatolian) group; carpets from
this group are rarely found today in our region,
- Indian, Pakistani and Chinese group.