Whether you’re decorating a rustic cabin or a palatial drawing room, Turkish rugs bring the space together with their elegance and beauty. Exquisite oxidized colors and posh pastels make them the go-to designer carpets for creating that pulled-together look.
Turkish rugs have been in production for at least the thirteenth century, with the Seljuk Turks weaving them as they migrated across Central Asia and into Europe. They brought with them a wealth of rug weaving techniques that resulted in a broad spectrum of styles and designs, from flat-woven kilims to lushly knotted “hali” (turkish carpet) rugs that feature Ghiordes knots – where the weft yarn is wrapped around two warp threads instead of one, imparting richness and durability.
Over time, Turkish rug makers adapted their styles to new fashions and trends, and the rug weaving trade evolved as a result. The emergence of the Safavid empire in Persia was an important influence on the design and style of Turkish rugs, which saw changes in color palettes and more intricate patterns and details.
In the nineteenth century, the Western world was in the midst of a huge Oriental revival, and Turkish rugs came into their own. Rustic tribal kilims and elegant Hereke carpets (created exclusively for Ottoman sultans) became fashionable, with their ruby reds and misted blues and entwined botanical designs.
Today, Turkish rugs continue to be a staple in interior design, with motifs that range from traditional to bold and contemporary. They’re also renowned for their quality, and the craftsmanship of these rugs is unsurpassed in the industry. Sheep’s wool is used for the pile on most rugs, as it is soft and durable, and takes dye very well. It is less susceptible to dirt than cotton, doesn’t react electrostatically and insulates against heat and cold.
Authentic vintage turkish rugs have a naturally worn, distressed look that is created by a process called “updating.” The aging of the rug occurs over a long period of time, with fading and wear helping to create an antique feel. The rug is then washed and shaved, muting its original color palette into subtle, faded pastels. The result is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind vintage rug with a story to tell.
Vintage rugs, however, are delicate and require special care when cleaning. For best results, hire a professional rug cleaner who understands the specific needs of these hand-knotted pieces. Using the right cleaning methods will help to ensure that your rug stays in great condition and maintains its color and texture. Read on to learn more about the best way to clean your vintage Turkish rug.