As a popular choice for home furnishings, vintage turkish rugs add class and elegance to any room. These rugs feature designs that incorporate natural elements such as trees, flowers, and stars in a variety of colors including rust red, brown, and blue. The rugs are hand-knotted, and the wool fibers are dyed using natural colors derived from plants and minerals. In addition, these rugs are often woven with intricate patterns that include geometric shapes, tribal symbols, and Islamic calligraphy. Some of these rugs are also adorned with fringe along the edges to complete their look.
The rug weaving tradition in Turkey is very old and well established, with a history that dates back to the thirteenth century when Seljuk Turks introduced the concept of a knotted pile carpet to the Islamic world. The first surviving Turkish rugs date from that period, and they are characterized by their large scale design patterns and a more decorative appeal than their Persian counterparts.
Among the best known early Turkish rugs are the Anatolian animal designs, whose ruby reds and misted blues worked their way into the paintings of European masters like Memling, Lotto, and Hans Holbein. Then, as trade between Asia and Europe grew, other groups of weavers began producing Turkish carpets with more intricate designs and deeper color palettes.
In the nineteenth century, Western cultures caught up in a huge Oriental revival found these rugs especially desirable. Moreover, Turkish tribal weavings from that era incorporated asymmetry and elemental designs and were often dyed with rare cochineal—derived from the skin of Kerkes beetles imported from the West Indies—to create an array of rich, evocative hues.
Today’s Turkish rugs are still produced by skilled artisans, who work to maintain the weaving techniques that have made this area’s textiles so prized throughout history. In addition to a range of sizes, construction styles, and motifs, modern Turkish rugs are also characterized by a remarkably soft, lustrous quality attributed to the weavers’ nomadic heritage and their connection to their flocks of sheep.
For those seeking a more traditional feel, there are a number of shops online where you can purchase a vintage rug. Etsy is a great place to start, with several sellers offering unique, handmade Turkish rugs with muted palettes that add an elegantly faded look to any space. You can also find vintage-inspired rugs at stores like West Elm, which offer a wide selection of motifs that will work with any decor style.
Other shops that specialize in vintage turkish rugs include Knot Rug, which offers a collection of antique-inspired pieces ranging from simple geometrics to ornately patterned patterns. Their rugs are hand-knotted from durable blends of yarns, and each features a unique vintage style that will add instant flair to any space.
The Rug Source, another trusted source of vintage Turkish rugs, features a broad range of options that span the centuries. Their collections include Oushak rugs—which are named after the city in central Anatolia where they were first woven—and Hereke carpets, which were once created exclusively for Ottoman sultans. Each piece is carefully inspected prior to shipping, and the shop’s experts can help you choose a rug that will perfectly suit your needs.