Turkish rugs are one of the most famous rugs in the world; they hold such prestige and heritage that every rug fanatic will truly appreciate the look and feel of wherever the rug is placed. As a matter of fact, Turkish rigs are one of the few rugs in the world that doesn’t need a specialist to know the high quality that it holds. Its importance in the rug and carpet world stands as high as the Swedish and Tamazight Moroccan rugs in the sense that they not only provide a beautiful look and feel to the room, but they also tell a story of the weavers.
The significance of the occidental antique Turkish rugs:
The Turkish rug is considered to be an antique oriental rug that holds a very significant importance in the world of rugs. The Arab carpet is also called the royal carpet; it shadows an oriental view that is characterized by symmetry and balance. The Medina carpet is the Islamic carpet which is also characterized by the aesthetic symmetrical aspect. The other carpets are not based on symmetrical balance and have an abstract sense.
The amazing carpet just like the Turkish antique rugs can signify the free spontaneous imagination which is not primitive art and it is up to the viewer of the art to interpret what the meaning is. These little symbols are found in the carpets themselves, as the theme of tents, flowers, women, and lion’s claws, the red and green color are very apparent. All of these symbols signify something very important, in the case of the
Turkish antique rugs that were made long ago, they sometimes signify the history of the village. In other interpretations, the color red signifies sacrifice and continuity, and the green color signifies fertility of the land and prosperity. One could spend hours just imagining the times that the weavers of the carpet have drawn years ago.
The weaving itself can signify many other things such as the repetitiveness of the weaving which can signify the continuation, emphasis and the marker of identity that the woman puts out in her artistic piece.
The colors, patterns and textures of the materials used in the carpets can also signify the characteristics of the region as the carpets of the cold high mountains are found to be white dominant which signifies snow and clouds. In other regions, we also find busy colors and rose inking which signifies the fertility of the land: Green means grass and rose means flowers.
The carpets themselves are significant for the culture as it inscribed in the folklore and the way people live, it is an important piece in the lives of Turkish people.
The difference between handmade and machine made:
The whole reason why people invest their time and money into antique Turkish rugs is because of the human touch. If the rug is perfectly shaped, then it’s probably not authentic, the true Turkish rug is known for its irregular weaving, it signifies a human touch and a message. The one thing that is very obvious about handmade Turkish rugs is the soft tones of the colors, when you see a Turkish rug that has very robust strong colors that pop, it’s a sign that either the art is not very important, or the rug is not authentic.
The classic Turkish rug has a soft color palate and that is because it was traditionally made where they have to use natural means to color the rugs such as ground coffee, tea leaves, ground flower hips, grass, and flowers. You would usually see that the soft color rugs are going to be softer in color, and the most expensive Turkish rugs will typically have much softer color tones.
There are many rugs in the market that claim to be an authentic antique Turkish rug, but a large percentage of those are made in the factory. If your goal is to just buy a piece that looks like a Turkish rug but you don’t want to invest the money into the symbolic meaning, then that rug is for you. But if your goal is to make a statement that stands with true heritage of authentic hard working people, then you have to dig really deep and get your hands into some rugs to find the real ones. The factory made rugs would usually have a perfectly symmetrical look, you would find that the symbols that are woven into the fabric seem like they have been made in software. In addition to that, the smell of rugs and fabric would be obvious enough to tell you that it has been made with a factory. The true authentic rugs usually have no smell, and the fabric seem to be thinner and more imperfect. That very imperfection is what people seek in the rugs, it shows that native people have spend days working on it.
They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but when it comes to the Turkish rug, you cannot help but appreciate the art and craft of the people that have woven the carpets and the rugs. Once you hold a true authentic rug in your hand, you will appreciate the beauty of the mind of those that have made it. All those little intricate designs and details that sometimes take the person literally years to decipher drive people into being antique Turkish rug fans and they eventually end up decorating their entire home with the rugs. Some rugs will literally take up to two years to make.
The history of a people into one rug never dies:
The antique ancient Turkish rugs date as far back as millennia and it is considered as a cultural heritage for the people that make it. Turkey has been one of the oldest and most popular producers of rugs for years, and they have been one of the best at it.
The richness of the symbolism in Turkish rugs is very extensive because of the fact that Turkey has had may cultural influences such as the Persian, southeast European culture and the Islamic culture. In many rugs that are being auctioned, there is very heavy symbolism that shows the triumphs and the losses of people that is signified in those rugs by color, design, size and even fabrics. These regions of the Anatolian peninsula were also home to many carpet and rugs practices such as the kilim and the hali rugs. These types have been introduced and changed as far as the either century. Ladik rugs for instance are known for the format of the prayer rug in the Islamic practices, they often feature a heavy use of the burgundy color in the centre, with many designs around the color such as the flower, the mosque, and the horses.
How to choose an antique Turkish rug:
One of the first steps in deciding on buying a Turkish rug is knowing what this would mean for you. Turkish rugs are usually a statement in the house and they are the centre of conversation in a room.
One of the first things you should do when deciding to buy a Turkish rug is to pay attention to the back of the rug, real authentic rugs have a visible pattern that is handmade. Another thing you should look at the amount of knots on the back of the rug, this signifies the complexity of the work it took to finalize the carpet, and by that standard, the more knots you find in an area, the higher price will be.
A very important thing to look at that is being done recently is the signature of the people that have made the rug. In many rugs, you would find signature of the village or the family that has woven the rug, and they would also show how much time it took to finalize it. Speaking of time, you should always as the salesman or the company when was the rug made, and where was it made. This will show you how significant the rug is, and you should always have some information about the rug, if the rug was made in the village by a very known family, then the price would be higher. This will not only let know how valuable the rug is, but it will also get you a certificate on the rug in case you want to resell it.
Another important variable when buying Turkish rugs is the fabrics and the colors. This is essential for you to know in order to clean it better without ruining the art and the integrity of the rug. Rugs that were made with natural fabrics such as wool and silk are going to be more expensive that those made or provided by in the factory. Pure silk rugs are going to be the most expensive, they are very smooth and thin, but cotton-silk blends are harder to distinguish because they feel the same. So always ask the salesman on the materials used on the carpet.
The legendary Turkish prayer rugs are going to be among the most expensive rugs you can find, they are usually very thin, made with silk and they fit the body just perfectly for prayer and for tea gatherings. Some Turkish rugs sell prayer rugs that have the same style of weaving as they did in the eight century Arabia and that is why they resonate very well with the native people.
Soft, fine wools are comfortable for clothing but less durable on the floor. Especially in tribal or village rugs, you’re looking for unprocessed, handspun wool that retains some lanolin. Good wool glows a bit (Kurdish rugs are often gemmy from shiny, refractive wool). Urban rugs are more often made with machine-spun wool, more “even” and velvety. Less character, more technically perfect. Which is better is an aesthetic choice.
Dyestuffs are another complex subject. Good dyes should be reasonably wash-fast and light-fast without corroding the fiber. Traditional vegetal dyes found in antique rugs are usually excellent–safe to wash, attractive colors with pleasing irregularity and almost automatic color harmony. Synthetic dyes show a huge range of quality. Regrettably the synthetics used in many post-War village rugs were no better than the dyes used to dye Easter Eggs. Dodgy synthetics can run when washed and fade to unattractive colors. On the other hand, the synthetic “chrome” dyes used in many organized productions of handmade rugs are technically almost perfect–a huge range of color and near-total stability in water and light. They can be too perfect–sterile and cold. Once again an aesthetic choice: Chrome dyes reinforce the technical perfection of city rugs; natural dyes reinforce the handmade character of rustic rugs. Weave is yet-another complex subject.
A rug salesman can explain where the rug was made, the material used, the knot count, and other metrics. Know that the terms Oriental, Persian, Turkish, Iranian…they can be used interchangeably depending on whom you talk to, so don’t get these terms twisted….ask, “Where was this rug made?”. Better rugs are hand made and 100% wool or silk.
If you’re looking for durability, prefer a rug that has a lot of wool packed into it–i.e., a dense pile that doesn’t compress much when pressed. A thin rug with whiskery pile might wear out quickly. Rugs with low- to medium knot counts (like a Heriz or Bidjar) are likely to be more durable than thin-pile rugs with high knot counts (Qum, say). The latter is a luxury market intended to show off intricate patterns but not intended to hold up under hard use.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a Turkish rug is the significance that it holds, most people that buy true authentic rugs understand the value that it holds, it’s a real investment for art lovers. As the colors age and get more refined, the carpet will hold more significance like fine wine. Having an antique Turkish rug in any place of the house tells stories of the woman that have made, it’s a self expression of generations that have continuously protected a culture and a history of the people.