History of Rugs

THE HISTORY OF HANDMADE RUGS

Look at–look into–any fine handmade Oriental rug. There is a depth of beauty here that rewards the eye in ways that nothing else can duplicate. Little wonder, down the centuries, everyone from heads of state to the world’s taste setters, the wealthy and famous, as well as those of more modest means have chosen handmade rugs as the showpieces of their palaces and homes.

The term “Oriental rug” refers to any hand-knotted rug created in the ancient rug-weaving centers of the Near East and Far East: from the Balkans through Turkey, North Africa, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and Nepal. While the exact origin of hand-woven oriental rugs is uncertain, ancient writings mention a variety of weavings and locations. The earliest surviving piece–known as the Pazyryk carpet–dates back to 400-500 BC. (Discovered in a burial site excavated in southern Siberia between 1947-49, it is now part of the Hermitage Museum Collection in Leningrad.) Certain scholars, in fact, believe that Oriental rugs probably existed even before the building of the Egyptian Pyramids and the fabled palaces of Babylon.