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The History Behind the Red Rug

The red rug is a cultural symbol that has been around for centuries. The red hand-knotted Persian carpet is the most iconic red carpet design, and it’s something that most people have either seen sold in stores, featured in museums or hotels, and portrayed in movies. But many other rugs in the world are red, such as Turkish kilims or Tibetan prayer mats. So let’s take a look at the meaning behind the infamous red rug. 

What Is The History Behind Red Rugs? 

The red rug has been around for centuries, and its meaning varies from culture to culture. The red color is often associated with power, wealth, energy, good luck, cheerfulness, or celebration in many cultures. In the west, it signifies royalty or grandeur of a high society home, while red is considered an auspicious symbol in China. In fact, red carpets are laid for honored guests, and red envelopes of money are given as gifts. 

In some cultures, red is a traditional mourning color, signifying the blood spilled by those who have died in war or conflict. In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, red symbolizes compassion, while red to Americans traditionally means love and passion. 

However, the first real mention of red carpets is in a play written by an Ancient Greek Tragedian, Aeschylus, in 468 B.C. Other famous mentions of the red carpet include that it was laid out to welcome King Xerxes, ruler of the Persian Empire. It’s also noted that red carpets were used in ancient Rome and Persia to symbolize power. 

What Styles Of Red Rugs Can You Find? One of the most iconic red rugs is a Persian rug, also known as an Oriental red carpet. These are hand-knotted and made by skilled artisans in Iran or Pakistan with intricate detail that can take months to complete. They typically have geometric patterns on them like diamonds, squares, hexagons, and octagons. 

Another type of red carpet you might find would be Turkish kilims which were initially used for comfort while sitting on hardwood floors during cold weather. However, they became prized pieces for collectors when people began collecting antique floor coverings rather than using them out of necessity. Kilims come from Turkey’s nomadic tribes, who created them out of woven wool or silk threads with bold colors such as reds, blues, greens, browns, and of course, red. 

There are also Tibetan prayer mats that come from the Himalayan region in Eastern Asia that have red accents on a white background with symbols of Buddha depicted as well as other designs like animals, trees, and flowers. These red rugs are usually made out of wool or cotton fabric. It’s clear that red carpets play a significant role in many cultures and societies.

Where Can I Purchase Red Rugs? 

You can find red rugs at any reputable rug store like Rug Source. These red carpets are often handmade and come from various cultures with many different styles, colors, patterns, symbolism, and meanings that make them a great addition to your home or office space. Head to rugsource.com to find the perfect red rug for your home.

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Misc

The Comprehensive Guide to Kilim Rugs

If you’re looking for a completely authentic and unique rug to decorate your home, you need to consider Kilim rugs. Carpets don’t always need to be particularly thick or heavy to create a statement in your home, which is what you’ll see with Kilim rugs. However, not many people know about these types of carpets and what distinguishes them from other rugs on the market. In this blog, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Kilim rugs.

What Is A Kilim Rug?

Kilim rugs are not traditionally kiln-fired like other types of floor coverings. Instead, they’re handwoven on a traditional loom from wool and cotton fabrics that have been dyed by natural dyes in earthy tones or lively colors. Regardless of the texture or material you’ll find on a Kilim rug, the weaving technique distinguishes it from other rugs. For example, while other rugs may have vertical and horizontal weft strands that you can visibly see, Kilim rugs do not.

What Is The History Behind Kilim Rugs?

Kilim rugs have a long history that is about as interesting as the weave itself. Originally, kilims were not woven with wool but rather sheep’s hair. The weaving technique was developed in West Asia and spread to Europe during the 1700s.

What Is A Kilim Rug Used For?

Although they are more than just beautiful accents, kilim rugs do serve a purpose within your home decorating needs – they can be used for warmth or function on hardwood floors when you need softness underfoot without using an area rug. Plus, we all know how much of a pain it is sticking vacuum cleaner attachments onto carpets!

There are specific features to look out for that will help you identify authentic Kilim rugs. For example, they’re typically made from wool and cotton fabrics, they have a flat pile, and the patterns on them can be geometric or stylized.

What Are The Benefits Of Owning A Kilim Rug?

Some of the benefits kilim rugs provide over other types of floor coverings includes:

  • Kilim Rugs are handmade
  • Kilim Rugs are often thin and soft
  • Kilim rugs are easy to maintain
  • Kilim rugs have no odor because of their natural dyes.

What Are The Downsides Of Kilim Rugs?

Some downsides of Kilim rugs include:

  • Kilim rugs aren’t great if you have pets (due to the wool fabric)
  • Kilim rugs are a little more expensive than other types of floor coverings
  • Kilim rugs may need some extra care due to their handmade nature.

How Much Do Kilim Rugs Cost?

Kilim rug prices can range from $200 to over $2000, depending on the size of the kilim and its quality. The cost is also dependent on whether or not you buy a kilim from an independent artisan or retailer. Regardless of how much it costs, these rugs are worth every penny because they look great in any space that needs more natural warmth.

Where Can You Buy Kilim Rugs?

The easiest way to find Kilim rugs is through the internet from reputable rug makers. There are plenty of online retailers specializing in Kilim rugs to help you find the perfect carpet for your home. It’s essential to choose a high-quality, well-reviewed resource for your Kilim Rugs, like Rug Source, and ensure they’re handmade instead of industrially reproduced.

North Carolina Area Rugs for Sale
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Misc

Is It Possible To Find Good Cheap Area Rugs?

If you’re looking for cheap area rugs, you may have seen a lot of options. There are hundreds of rugs available for sale, so how do you know the quality or if it’s worth your time and money? While cheap doesn’t mean it’s always the best, not all cheap rugs are made of bad quality. So is it possible to find cheap area rugs that are also good quality? Absolutely! Here are some tips on finding the perfect rug for your space without breaking the bank.

  1. Determine The Size Of Your Space

The first thing you need to do is figure out the size of your space. In order to determine the size of rugs required for a particular house or location, you need to consider room dimensions. For example, do you want a small rug or something that covers the entire space? Understanding the size will also help you determine what prices are considered average or cheap for an area rug.

  1. Use Reputable Rug Companies

We all know it’s essential to find a good deal on cheap area rugs in order to save money, but where you buy them from also matters. You’ll want cheap area rugs made from high-quality materials, with durable construction at prices below $500 per rug – which can be challenging if not impossible!

However, going with reputable retailers who have been around for many years and have the reviews to back it up or those located nearby so that they don’t get damaged during transit time is an excellent choice to find an ideal cheap area rug.

  1. Compare The Price Of One Rug To Others

If you’re on a budget, cheap area rugs are an affordable option for many people looking to purchase new home furnishings. However, remember that cheap is not always best! For instance, if one rug costs $400 but another is only $200 – the higher-priced rug may be of better quality and worth it, in the long run, depending on what it’s made of and how its constructed.

On the other hand, cheaper alternatives from lesser brands or retailers who haven’t been around as long and don’t have good reviews online may last for only a few months. This ends up making you purchase another rug, spending more money than you would if you had purchased a high-quality carpet in the first place. Compare prices of more than one cheap area rug before making your final decision on which one to purchase.

  1. Consider The Type Of Material

What cheap area rug type are you looking for? Weaving or hand-tufted? While this is a tough decision to make, it’s essential to identify what kind of material and weave will work well with your space. For example, if the room gets wet quickly or has pets that like to tumble in from time to time – you’ll want a cheap area rug made out of materials that can withstand these issues.

As long as you follow these tips we’ve mentioned when purchasing cheap area rugs online – finding one at an affordable price without compromising quality shouldn’t be too tricky. At Rug Source, we pride ourselves on the amazing quality and great prices.

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Misc

How to Style Red Rugs

When you start your search for a new rug, you’ll often see many different color options. Most of them will feature dark patterns on a dull gold or beige background, while others will have blue motifs with floral designs. It’s pretty unique to own or want to own a red rug. 

This is because red is a loud color and can be difficult to style. It certainly isn’t the go-to color if you have an already vibrant room. A red rug will only flourish in a room that has been done up in solid colors to add a bright accent. It can be complicated to know how to style these sorts of rugs, but we’re here to make it easier for you. Keep reading to find out how to style and understand the quintessentially beautiful and mysterious red rug.

Check for Secondary Colors and Designs

Before you buy your rug, you need to examine it properly and pick up on all the secondary colors used in it. Many red rugs have beige, white, or blue mixed into their patterns, while others may also use black. The last color is particularly found in old Persian rugs, and if you own one, you’re very lucky. Make sure you pick the rug with accents and colors that will match the space you’re putting it in. For example, a red rug with blue accents would look great with dark brown furniture, white one with black colors will complement lighter pieces. Pick your secondary colors wisely!

Go For Neutral

This is for those people who have cream, white or taupe walls. You should pick a red rug that has a cream, white or taupe pile. This will create a sense of neutrality and peace within the room. The best thing about this choice is creating an accent or statement wall to complement the rug. However, be careful not to have a red statement wall as it’s almost impossible to match the red hue of the rug. Instead, opt for a darker color such as midnight blue or onyx black. Both of these walls will make your rug stand out even more. If you want to add frames and things, make sure that these are either grey or black. Any other color will make the space look garish.

Keep your Furniture Minimal

One thing that makes red rugs tricky to style is the kind of furniture that goes along with it. If you have many heavy, artisanal furniture, you will do your best to stay away from red rugs. A rich, jewel-colored red carpet should be the only centerpiece of the room. It naturally commands attention. Therefore, ensure that the furniture in the room is minimalist and spare enough, so eyeballs are drawn to the rug first. 

Don’t pair the rug with different colored furniture either. A red rug requires that you stay true to a certain theme or tone so it can stand out.

Types of Red Rugs

Now that you know how to place and style your red rug let’s talk about the different kinds of available red rugs. You will find a lot of options, ranging from historical to modern kinds. Persian red rugs are antiques and one of the rarest forms of the red rug. However, many countries have banned the import of these unique pieces, so you might have to look at other options.

Red rugs come in all shapes, sizes, and shades. There are plush deep-red shag rugs, claret, and wine-colored flat pileless rugs with different designs, ethnic-looking wool carpets, red leopard print runners, traditional Nordic-themed rugs, and a lot more.

The shade you choose depends on the kind of mood you want to set in the room. Duller shades of red represent a more serious or formal tone. These rugs would do well in a study or library type of area. On the other hand, bright and vibrant red tones are used to brighten up rooms. These can be used in your children’s bedrooms as well as in entryways and living rooms. 

As with everything, make sure you don’t overdo the red and keep the rug for accent purposes. Otherwise, it can take over the whole room!

If you’d like a beautiful red rug to bring your room together, check out rugsource.com

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Misc

6 Things to Know When Picking Area Rugs

Area rugs are the perfect statement pieces to set down in a room that would otherwise need wall-to-wall carpeting. Investing in a complete carpeting solution can be expensive and will also hold you back from changing up the room frequently. On the other hand, area rugs allow you greater variety, and you can even switch them up according to season. 

Keep in mind these are accent rugs and don’t cover a room fully. As with any medium-sized rug, they are used to bring out the best in your furniture by providing a pleasing backdrop. Read on to find out six essential tips about choosing your next area rug. 

Size Matters 

Many people erroneously buy area rugs that are either too small or too big for their space. They often pick too-small rugs that look awkward and random in the room in which they are placed. While smaller rugs are easier on the pocket, you will find yourself inconvenienced later when you have to change it because it doesn’t match the room. Make sure you buy a medium to large rug that can cover a large portion of the floor and matches the furniture placed on it. 

Furniture on Top, not on the Side 

Area rugs stand out when placed under all the furniture in the room or a dedicated corner. If this isn’t possible, ensure that pieces of furniture with bigger legs are placed on the rug. The rest can still be scattered around to look aesthetic. If you’re going to place a rug in the dining room, it should be placed right under the dining table and all the chairs. Keep in mind that your 

chairs should still be on the rug when they are pulled out to sit on. 

Keep Maintenance in Mind 

When you’re buying an area rug, you should be aware of the material. For example, if you buy rugs made of inexpensive fibers such as jute and sisal, you will save money but will be stuck if something is spilled on them. These rugs are impossible to clean, and you will have to replace 

them as soon as they get soiled. You can spend a little extra and invest in a wool or cotton woven rug that will be easier to clean and maintain regularly. 

Take Note of Traffic 

Your area rug should be large enough to allow anyone in the room to place both feet on it while walking. Your family or guests will feel strange if one of their feet is on the rug and one-off. What’s more, it’ll lead to your rug and floor being worn out at different paces. This inconsistency will start showing through and look strange. Your rug should cover the floor enough so that it can be comfortably walked on. 

Pick Interesting Patterns

This tip can be customized according to your individual needs. Many people prefer buying area rugs in solid colors to add a different shade to the room. This works when your room is painted in either just light or just dark colors. For example, if you have a bedroom with light blue walls, you can place a white, dark blue, or even aqua-colored rug to add a bold aesthetic. 

On the other hand, if the room has plain white walls or some other pastel color, you can choose a rug with an intricate pattern. There are plenty of Ottoman rugs that feature dull gold and orange backgrounds with hints of blue and red on top. These will make your white room stand out and will diminish a boring aesthetic. 

Think Equal Space 

No one enjoys seeing a rug placed at random distances from the walls. Make sure you measure the room you need a rug for before purchasing it. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you have 10 to 26 inches on all sides of the rug in question. Your goal should be to have a rug placed smack in the center of the room, so everything looks equal and aesthetic. 

The Bottomline 

Trust your gut when it comes to buying the perfect area rug. Try not to get bogged down in too much research or other variables. You know what will look best in your room, so go and get it! If you want to find the perfect area rug unique to you, check out the wide selection at Rug Source.

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Misc

History of Persian Rugs

When looking at the history of Persian Rugs, the authentic Persian rug, also called a Persian Carpet, needs no introduction. Their style and quality speak for themselves and convince everyone interested in the rugs to admire the beauty that a carpet beholds. Are you a fan of these rugs too? Great, you’ll find some interesting historical details about these rugs here. 

This reputation of Persian rugs has not been established in a day or two; rather, it reflects the continuous efforts and the quality consistency. These attributes provided over time have made antique personal rugs a high-demand commodity now.

But how did it all start? Have you been wondering about it? Let’s discuss the history of Persian rugs in a bit detail:

Use of carpets in early history:

Do you know the traces of the existence of carpet since the early history of humankind are available in the written documents? The first such record has been found from 850BC where ancient Greeks had been using carpets. Numerous writings and books mention the use of carpets. However, it did not provide any details about the details of how these carpets were created. But we guess even the record of the user since 850BC highlights their importance throughout history.

When did Persian Rugs and Carpets cover the scene?

The first mention of antique Persian rugs has been seen in 400BC, where they have been marked as precious and worthy items to be used as a diplomatic gift at that time.

Since the very start, authentic Persian rugs have been marked in history as a luxury item with the symbolism of honor and prestige. Luckily, overall these centuries, this image has still been maintained, and we guess this is the main reason you have been searching about the Persian rugs, too, isn’t it?

Basics about carpet weaving:

During the 220AD – 650AD, Sasanian Empire, Parthian Empire, and Byzantine Empire were the strongest ones in terms of knowledge gain, experience, and crafts. This is the time of the Persian carpets’ prominence too.

The exact history of how the antique Persian rug weaving started is still unknown, but the knowledge of creating the carpets for floor decoration was the thing of the era. Besides, the Persian carpets also had a role in the trade and revenue. You’ll be excited to know that silk textiles were used to pay tribute to the churches, and Persian carpets were included in the item list.

In 637AD, Persian carpets were so prominent that they were taken as booty after winning a war. Interesting!

The era of 650AD to 1258AD:

The literature available on the Persian carpets highlights this era when the carpets were used on the floors. Different geographic and Islamic history indicated that the manufacturing of Persian carpet had been the rural industry during the entire caliphate rule, providing the kingdom with a source of revenue and other economic benefits.

The era of 1040 – 1118AD:

Strangely, there are no known Persian rugs from this era. Historians believe that they might not be able to identify the difference between different carpet varieties available because of the introduction of new skills and techniques. This newness is expected to be the result of the Seljuk invasion in Northwestern Persia. So, we can’t expect to see the style of Persian rugs from this era; this is sad.

The era of 1256-1500AD:

All this period has witnessed turmoil, wars, and political anarchy. However, in terms of carpets, the evidence of their existence has been confirmed through the correspondence of different rulers from Persia to other parts of the world.

The era of 1501-1732:

This is the era of Safavid, where this dynasty has given very high importance to the art, amongst which carpet weaving was the most prominent. We can still find the antique Persian rugs from the later era of the Safavid period, even today. You might find them as antiques but still locatable as a general buyer.

The design change in the Persian style carpets has been quite prominent since the sixteenth century when the miniatures have been transformed into large-format designs.

The era of 1736 – 1796 AD:

In this era, the fights and the wars in the region led the Persian carpet industry to fail miserably. Although it was a smaller period, you can very well understand the problems that people associated with the industry would have faced, right? Such a thing is quite common in today’s world.

The era of 1789-1925AD:

Within this era, the Persian carpets became famous again. In 1885, the modern carpet industry started working through the constant efforts of the antique personal carpet weavers.

Modern Age:

In the late 20th century, the changes in design and the artistic value inherent in it led the other countries of the world to take an interest in this field. This is why Iran is still known as the manufacturer of the best carpets throughout the world.

Summing up:

We have tried to sum up the historical perspective associated with the Persian rugs in detail to help you find all the important eras in history (regarding Persian carpets) in one place. 

Today, many other countries have tried to copy the design and technique of the Iranian carpets. Still, no one has managed to manufacture the same product as that of the Iranians. This is why the authentic Persian rugs still enjoy the glory and luxury associated with their name.

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USE, CARE, STORAGE, AND DISPLAY

Oriental rugs, like other textiles, are fragile compared to many domestic objects. Eventually,
oriental rugs are destroyed by reasonable use. They are not “over-engineered” in the manner or a
cast-iron stove that could last an eternity of reasonable use. However, if rugs are viewed more as
art works than floor coverings, then special measures for their preservation are justified.
Many of the measures for the use, care, storage, and display of oriental rugs in this chapter are
merely common sense. But sometimes reminders of common sense are helpful. Some of the
measures are more appropriate for rugs as art objects. The measures you use are the true
indicators of your valuation of a rug- a valuation somewhere between household expendable and
work of art.

USING ORIENTAL RUGS
Consider the condition, type, and value of a rug in deciding where to place it. A fragile rug or
kilim will not last long in high-traffic areas such as halls and entryways. Rugs in such areas
should be in full pile as the resilience of this surface protects the knots. Knots without pile are
not so effective in protecting the foundation. The rate of wear down to the foundation speeds up
rapidly once the knots are exposed.

Do not put oriental rugs in the kitchen. This is the wrong location for a rug of any value as food
stains and heavy use will destroy it quickly. Among Near Eastern villagers and nomads, it is
customary to remove shoes or boots when entering houses or tents. Older nomadic, tribal, and
village rugs were never intended to be exposed to footwear. They are not designed to withstand
the constant friction of leather or the tortuous pressures of high heels. Accordingly, they should
not be used in high-traffic areas. Contemporary factory-made oriental rugs are a different matter.
They are constructed to hold up under normal Western usage.

You can protect oriental rugs from hard friction and crushing wear by placing them on pads or
other carpets. The resiliency of underlying materials allows the rug to flex, which prolongs its
life. As an added benefit, the rug is more comfortable to walk on. Fiber or felt pads are
preferable to foam rubber particles work their way into the back of the rug.

Cut rug pads I inch (2.5 centimeters) smaller than the rug, all the way around the edge. The rug
edge will then conceal the padding. Fiber or felt pads tend to flatten and spread slightly at the
edges, but the I-inch border allows for this.

Before cutting a pad, measure the rug carefully and check the corners with a large square. You
may find the rug is not a rectangle but another quadrilateral. To cut fiber pads, use heavy-duty X-
Acto knife. Mark the cut line on the pad with a felt-tip pen. Then use a metal straight edge guide
the knife. Considerable pressure or multiple strokes are needed. A wooden board can be placed
under the cut line and pad to protect work surfaces. Pads can be pieced together using 2- or 3-
inch (5 or 6 centimeters) gaffer tape or duct tape.


Wear will be more evenly distributed if rugs in high-traffic areas are reversed each year. This
end-to-end reversal is very desirable even though you do not notice annual wear. Once the knots
are exposed in a particular area of the rug, wear will proceed much more rapidly. Reversing the
rug will preserve the pile and delay wear exposure of the knots.

Use coasters to protect rugs where furniture rests on the rug. Move the furniture around or
reverse rugs annually so that crushed pile can “relax”. If pile has been crushed by furniture legs,
it can usually be restored by steaming and brushing the area.


CARING FOR RUGS
It is a good idea to vacuum rugs that are in frequent use. Vacuuming prolongs the period between
washes and reduces rug wear. Rugs in high-traffic areas should be vacuumed once a week.
Use a brushless vacuum nozzle for the greatest efficiency. If your vacuum cleaner has a power-
driven rotating brush at the nozzle, never pass the nozzle over rug ends. Rotating brushes loosen
fringes, end wefts, and end knots. How often should a rug be washed? Frequent washing can
weaken a rug. This is offset by the fact that rug fibers are cut by entrapped soil particles. There is
no rule of thumb as to the frequency of washing. Consider these questions in deciding whether a
rug needs a wash:

  • Does solid come off on your hand when to rub the pile, even after vacuuming?
  • Aside from abrash, are there differences in the shade of similar light-colored areas?
  • Has the rug been exposed to heavy traffic?
  • Does the rug have a stale or dusty smell?
    If your answer to any two of these questions is “yes”, then the rug probably needs a wash.
    Of course, you know that a rug with foundation damage should not be used. Where warps or
    wefts are broken in the foundation, the selvage, or ends, the damage will spread rapidly under the
    stress of use. Either repair the damage promptly or take the rug out of service.
    Clean up spills right away. Scrape up solid materials and blot up liquids. Blot from the edges of
    the spill towards the center. After all excess liquid has been soaked up, surface clean the spill
    area. If the spilled substance may stain, use the appropriate stain-removal techniques.
    Finally, it is a good idea to carefully inspect rug at least once each year. Look for wear or
    damage that should be repaired before it gets any worse. For rugs mounted on walls, check the
    back side annually since this is where moths leave their eggs.

RUG STORAGE
The area where rugs are stored should not be subject to wide temperature variations. Some
humidity is all right. But it should not be high enough to support mildew. Optimum storage
conditions are 50% relative humidity and a temperature of 70° (21 °C). Do not place rugs in
storage unless they are clean. Soiled rugs invite insect attack and mildew.
Periodically inspect stored rugs. This is the only way you can be sure that the rugs are not being
attacked by insects. Moth repellent products are not entirely dependable. Though their use ins
recommended, do not rely on them to the exclusion of regular inspections.
Roll rugs up for storage. It is best to store rolled rugs horizontally rather than on one end. Rugs
will be damaged along crease lines if they are folded for long-term storage.

Regular brown wrapping paper can be used to protect most rugs in storage. Never store rugs in
plastic wrapping. The rugs should be able to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and release
moisture into the atmosphere. For every valuable rug, acid-free tissue paper is placed on the rug
and rolled up with the rug. Heavy acid-free paper is then used to wrap the rolled rug.

DISPLAYING RUGS ON WALLS
Increasingly, fine rugs and collectors’ rugs re displayed on walls. The motive is greater visibility
and protection for the rug. But a rug displayed on the wall is exposed to a whole new set of
hazards. These hazards can be eliminated or reduced depending on the location and manner of
display.
Let’s consider the risk posed by the location of the rug, these include:

  • Fading. Consistent exposure to direct sunlight will fade a rug. Do not mount a rug on a
    surface where it will be regularly exposed to direct sunlight. If there is n alternative
    location, rugs can be protected with ultra-violet filtering Plexiglas (UF-3). Contact a local
    museum to find the nearest supplier of conservation materials.
  • Dust condensation. If rugs are hung against a relatively cool surface in a room, fine dust
    in the air will be deposited on the rug. Avoid mounting rugs in such locations.
  • Desiccation. Do not hang rugs above radiators or hot air registers. The long-term effect is
    to dry out and embrittle the fibers.

Material used in connection with display can cause damage. Metal in combination with moisture
and air pollutants will corrode fibers where there is contact. Accordingly, nails, screws, hooks,
staples, suspension rings, and wire should never actually touch the mounted rug. Direct contact
with raw wood can cause staining and corrosion So, wooden surfaces must be covered with some
other fabric (preferably unbleached, unstarched muslin) where contact with the rug is possible.
Wall display, if incorrectly done, can structurally damage a rug. The weight of the rug can
permanently stretch warps and wefts, producing scalloping at the suspension points, bellying,
and wrinkles. To avoid structural damage, the mounting system must provide even support for
the rug. We will describe four mounting systems: permanent frame or panel mounting,
suspension rings, Velcro mounting, and hanging a rug from a batten.

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NATURAL FIBER USED IN ORIENTAL RUGS

A wide variety of natural fiber are used in oriental rugs. By far the most common are wool, cotton, and silk. Goat hair, camel hair, horsehair, yak hair, and jute are also used.

Some of these fibers can only be distinguished microscopically. With experience, wool, cotton, and silk can be identifies by their appearance and texture. In comparison to cotton, wool is less soft, more coarsely textured, and has more “spring” to it.

Undyed cotton has a hard white appearance compared to white wool. Silk is more flexible and glossier than either wool or cotton, although it is possible to mistake very glossy wool or mercerized cotton for silk.

As a group, vegetable fiber is much resistant to alkalis the animal fibers. Animal fibers will disintegrate in a string lye solution, while vegetable fibers will remain intact. This is one of distinguishing silk and cotton. 

WOOL 

The most important qualities in wool are fiber fineness, fiber length, and natural color. These qualities are primarily determined by the breed of sheep, but they are also influenced by climate and pasturage.

The fineness of wool fiber ranges from a thickness of I/3,000 inch (I/7,620 centimeter) to I/275 inch (I/1698 centimeter). The merino and its crossbreeds regularly produce the finest wool, but fine wool is also taken in the first shearing of lambs from many breeds. Breeds producing coarse wools are generally found in the Middle East. Fairly coarse wools have better wear resistance than fine wools. When in doubt yarns or fibers, a small quantity can be burned. This test is reliable. 

COTTON

The use of cotton in the foundation of pile rugs is incredibly old practice. There are 17th-century Persian carpets with wraps and wefts of cotton. Indeed, most town or factory rugs have cotton warps. Undyed cotton is occasionally used for pile in small areas, where its hard white appearance provides contrast. Cotton is not generally used as an all-over pile fiber because of its tendency to mat.

Cotton is grown throughout the Middle East and Asia. Egyptian cotton is well known for its long staple, only exceeded in length by Georgia Sea Island cotton. Staple length varies from 3/8 inch (0.952 centimeter) to 2 ½ inches (6.35 centimeters), the longer being more prized.

Fiber of the cotton plant has the cross-section of a flattened tube. The fiber is naturally twisted, and this characteristic makes it easier to spin.

Mercerized cotton is cotton yarn treated with caustic alkali while the yarn is under tension. This process increases the luster off the yarn to such a degree that it may be mistaken for silk. 

SILK

Silk is used in the pile and foundation of some of the costliest Middle Eastern and Chinese rugs. Silk is sometimes used for the pile in a rug with a cotton or wool foundation. In some Turkmen and Caucasian rugs, small colored areas of silk pile are found with an otherwise wool pile. 

The principal source of cultivate silk is the cocoon of the moth, Bombyx mori. Filament from the cocoon is about I/I,200 inch (I/3,048 centimeter) thick, and from 800 to I,200 yards (730-I, I00 meters) long. Commercial silk from cultivated moths is initially classified as reeled or unreeled silk. Reeled silk is unwound directly from undamaged cocoons floating in a hot water bath and is made up of along parallel filaments before it is spun. This pearly soft-white silk is the finest and most highly valued. Unreeled or spun silk comes from damaged or stained cocoons The cocoon filament is loosened by fermentation or washing. After cleaning, the tangled filament is combed and then spun.

Wild or tussur silk, from a variety of moth species, is collected and processed in remote areas of the Orient and the Middle East. Tussur silk is usually gray, but it can be brown or orange depending on the moth species. This type of silk dyes and only takes darker colors successfully. 

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CARPET DESIGNING

Carpet designing is a continuation of that those days. Despite the improvement in the quality of its production in cities such as Tabriz and Isfahan, and the effort of great artists like Bahadori, Archand, Reza Vafa and many others, Iranian carpet is in the need of a serious review to gold is Position on the peak of beauty. To complete this subject, it is necessary to study a little about the quality of carpet designing in Iran and to specify its main factors.  Generally, carpet designing has the following characteristics:

  1. Classical designing.
  2. Portrait designing (Miniature).
  3. Color.

It is evident that the above-mentioned classification is not a definitive scientific one and it has been considered in connection whit carpet’s production and its weaving.

  1. CLASSICAL DESIGNING:

In considering the methods of production in Iranian carpet-weaving, we can observe the process and history of carpet-weaving from the time of making felt carpets, weaving Gelim (Persian word for short-napped coarse carpet) and primitive carpets to its most advanced phases of carpet-weaving such as woven carpet and miniature ones. According to some standards, methods of production are divided into rural type of production and urban type. The development of designing is exactly like the process of carpet-weaving. Most of the advanced designing of today is the developed form designs which were woven with broken and angled lines in villages and some small towns years ago.

These designs are either named with recognized traditional Iranian names such as shah Abbas, Lachak Toranj Afshanm Boteh, Mahi, Kaf Sadeh, Shekargah, Gol-o-Derakht, Heivandar, or after the places where they have been produced: Joshagah Ardebil, Cucasia, Sarough, Bijar, Torkman, etc. Some other time they take their names from the form of the carpet such as: Janamazi, Sotoundar, Goldani, Ghabghbi, Bazoubandi, Minakhani, or from the name of the subject: Sheikh Lotfollah, Bou Ali Sina Tomb, Eivan Madaen.

Although there are a great number of names used in carpet-weaving; it seems that the number of its principal designs, does not exceed from 19, that was mentioned by Iranian carpet Co. Considering the unlimited power of imagination of Iranian artist and designers, now we can witness, for example, the presentation of Shah Abassi flower in many different forms and colors, every one of which a complete example of Iranian talent and love of beauty.

The most distinguished component of designs consists of elements such as Shah Abassi’s Flower, Gol Anari, Gol-Niloufari, Shak-o-Barg (foliage), Eslimi (Islami), Khotaei, Boteh Rose (Gol-e-Sorkh), Cypress tree, etc. These elements appear under different forms. The designs are overshadowed by a long period of time, so they need profound historical, artistic, and cultural studies. 

Designs such as Mahi (Mehr and Mitra, Iranian’s myths before Islam), Cypress, Pine and shrub (Sacred tree or symbol of Zoroastrian fire), Gol Anari (Sacred fruit), and Eslimi, are related to those old Iranian myths and beliefs that have been changes under the influence of cultural and social conditions of subsequent centuries. Eslimi is a design that was wrongly attributed to Arabic culture and was called Arabesque. This design is probably a painting of the head of an elephant, and it shows the talent and imagination of the artist who made it and known as one of the most beautiful Iranian’s traditional design. It is Said that Khataei may be named after Khat (line) or may be related to Khotan, a city in China.  Boteh is a symbol of pine and Cypress trees that signifies some concepts and forms in the carpet-designing. Anari and Shah Abassi flowers are forms which are related to Safavid age.

There are different opinions about the origin of carpet designs, we leave the critical study of these opinions to clear-sighted persons. Wherever these designs come from or to any period they belong, they have been dissolved in Iranian culture and were adapted to the Iranian’s desire and spiritual needs. So, the discussion is not about the place from where the designs had come or the period to which they may belong, important pint is the fact that “Kermani” weaver creates such a flower and plant on his carpet, that it appears to be most beautiful ones, and by this creation he satisfied his spiritual needs. The Iranian weaver does not weave only for this reason that the design is historical, mythical, or Iranian, he does his work because he needs to do it. This need, whether spiritual or economic, is the best reason for the continuance of carpet-weaving. In comparison with miniature, Iranian classical design has some particularities that require the weaver to have some experience. So, in this type of designing the artist point of view does not hold the first importance. It is so because these designs; however large and difficult they might be, can be woven with a little precision and the knowledge of drawing-reading. The difference between and experienced master and apprentice is in their quickness and the remembrance of some of its particularities like dimension. 

Since there was not printed and checkered papers in old times, the designs were either painted the same size as the carpets or the were lined in checkered form by coal or chalk (in the absence of Pencil). Drawings were read loudly by a master who knew drawing-reading (This method still exists because some weavers do not know drawing-reading). 

Using designing papers, skilled painters can draw precise and clear drawings and exactly specify the colors, so the weaving of classical designs would become a technical work even in its most difficult form. The artist is mainly responsible for the artistic aspect in classical designs, and he can create a work like design of “Bashariat” (humanism) by Elissa Bahadori, which became a masterpiece in classical designs. Obviously, to obtain such an artistic rank in classical drawing one needs, in the first place, a profound artistic and technical proficiency with long years of experience and skill. It is understood that one of the Iranian’s traditional method of teaching drawing in Academic centers was to recommend copying out the buildings of Safavid age. Many known artists have done this difficult task with love during long hours. Although we do not claim that the most valuable carpet designs are the traditional Iranian ones; all Iranian art lovers find Isfahan with its flower, trees and bird designs, the center of the world’s art.

  1. PORTRAIT DESIGNING (MINIATURE)

Miniature is an old and recognized word in Iranian designing, but what is called miniature in carpet-weaving is a fine-woven and delicate carpet whose design is based on concepts of poems, stories and proverbs or other Iranian artistic works. Although portrait-weaving on carpet is not a new profession; the primitive designs in this field were miniatures (taken from Chinese paintings) that despite their brilliant coloring did not have pictorial and perspective dimensions. It is not known when the present tableaux weaving was learnt by Iranians, but the presence of fine pictorial carpets not only shows the potential abilities in carpet-weaving, but also indicates a climax in reaching the technic of the best usage of colors. 

Weavers of this kind of carpets are highly skilled, they earn their skill and experience through long years of hard work.

The apparent development of this kind of carpet-weaving is confirmed by the presentation of several carpets on which one can see different designs of buildings, mosques, or rural areas, but the development of this kind of carpet does not necessarily means that all the products of these designs were successful. Most of these carpets do not have the basic characteristics of anatomy, perspective or coloring’s standards and rules. The main reason is the use of non-skilled and in experiences painters who have no information about designing. 

Although the designer, weaver and producer are charged with the responsibility of the artistic value of this kind of carpet; the final quality of the carpet is determined by design and coloring which proceed from the talent of the painter. If the producer himself gives the design of the carpet, the best result will be obtained. 

Carpet designer and painter will be successful only when he is highly informed about, the perspective, anatomy, coloring different schools of art and the method of conformation of drawing with texture. 

The matters mentioned above are accessible, but sometimes they are disregarded because of uniformed and profiteer producers who follow only the mode and fashion and never think about the creation of a perfect artistic work.

At the end of this subject, it is good to mention that despite many difficulties, the fineness, and the high value of some of the pictorial carpets, that are equal to artistic tableaux, we cannot confirm the development of this method of carpet production. It is so because when non-Iranian subjects are used, the design will be mostly influenced by European art, and it will lead to the loss of Iranian’s traditional and delicate carpet-weaving.

  1. COLOR

There is no doubt that design and color are two undividable qualities in carpet designing, and it is not in our intention to separate these two aspects. Whenever we talk about a proper and artistic design of a carpet, it is obvious that this design is shown by coloring. Color is the principal parameter in Iranian carpet and is not dividable from the carpet itself. The pleasant Iranian colors that are shown in numerous figures and flowers are the symbols of Eastern culture and arts as well as the creative talent of the weaver and designer. The selection and harmony of colors, particularly in fine-woven carpets is a specialized job that needs extraordinary skill and experience. Just for coloring a face, one may need at least ten shades of a single color.

To get a clear notion about the value and extreme difficulty of tableau weaving, it is good to mention those carpets which are woven from “Leonardo Davinci’s” “last Supper”; On these carpets, the designer and weaver have to try hard and put many different colors together in order to recreate just a line that the painter had produced.

Therefore, very few carpets can be found that conforms to the tableau of Leonardo Davinci. The best result will be obtained when, first, the designer is endowed with a philosophical point of view of art, then the designer must know how to weave the carpet and at last the weaver should have the ability of understanding artistic concepts and possess a rich color sense. The result of such harmony with the assistance of the proper devices and equipment, will be an artistic masterpiece.

The remarkable quality of colors in carpet is its closeness to that of the nature which produce in the mind of the viewer, a kind of spiritual calmness and tranquility. This special effect can be taken from natural colors, and this is one of the most important reasons that clear sighted persons insist on its use. In the structure of a natural dye called by “Ronas”, for example, there are four or five dye stuff. When these stuffs are combined; they will produce a dye named by “Ronasi” that is one of the most pleasant vegetable dyes.

To obtain a chemical dye, like Ronasai, we need to mix several dye stuffs. On the other hand, the essential factor in the color of Ronas, Alizarin, can never give a similar color to Ronas in its purest form. 

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HISTORY OF THE CARPET

Carpet history could be traced to the beginning of human civilization. When man realized that he could not live on cold, thorny, and insect-ridden ground, he began to use the skin and mixed wools of the animals living around his residential place. No doubt, the various kinds of the early carpets had a quality like the felt or primary weavings. There is no trace left of primitive carpets and is due to the fact that it has a nondurable quality, so none of historians and researcher’s theories can trace the exact date at which this beautiful human phenomenon was originally produced.

Obviously, Iranians can not claim to be the first producers of the hand-woven carpet, but the historical evidence, especially the discovery of the “Pazirik carpet”, outlines the immense portion which Iranians had in the creation and production of this precious art.

In Homer’s poems, it is mentioned that “The Iranian chariots are covered with purple carpets”. Xenephon in recording the history of Iran’s wars, points out that <Iranians used soft carpets under their beds>. Un Anabasis book, the author speaks about a carpet with a price equivalent a 10 Minaos (the ten Greek currency). Which was equal to 38 Silver pounds. 

There have always been various opinions about the real quality of those carpets and the fact that whether they were really carpets, or a kind of felt or painted needle work and as on.

In a book, published in 1950 about the discoveries of professor “RODENK”>, a Russian archeologist, the discovery of a carpet, which has been found from the frozen tomb of a Sokaidking in Altai of Mongolia near the southern part of Siberia, is mentioned. This carpet is called after the place from where it was found, “the Pazirik”. It has surprisingly survived almost intact, because of the eternal ice of Siberian area, and is now kept in Leningrad’s “Armitage” museum. The dimension of this carpet is 6.7 feet by 6 feet equal to 190 by 210 cm2. The number of knots within one square centimeter is about 36 Persian knots. Its colors are dark-red brown, orange, and a kind of greenish blue, known today as pazirik color. Colors used in this carpet are form animal and plant origin.

The age of this carpet, which is a villous and knotty type, goes back to the 5th century B.C., because of its designing and drawing of Persian cavalry with their costumes and arms that belonged to the glorious era of Iranian’s Empire and reminds us “Clearly the Perspolice figures”. The fact is that this carpet had been woven in an Iranian territory, probably in “Khorasan”, or at least in an Iranian dominated land of Media and Parthia.

In any case, whether Iranians are producer of the first woven carpets or not, they can claim that 2500 years ago they were producing woven and knotty carpets with exact technical painting in Iran.

From the supposed date of the production of the “Pasirik” carpet up to 16th century, when the famous carpet of “Ardebil” was woven, no examples are available. Before the discovery of the “Pasirik” carpet, the record of Persian carpet weaving was referred to the “Mongul” or “Seljukian” time. But according to the Islamic geographers and historians, carpets have certainly existed before these times.

We avoid mentioning the sayings of historians and tourists such as “Moghadassi”, “Tbn Batouteh”, “Yagut” and others, because not only there is not any supported evidence, but also, we are not write history. For getting more information about the history of carpets as well as the existing carpets in museums, we can only refer our readers to other books.

In any case, as I mentioned earlier, we do not intend to repeat the historical matters about carpets, such as disrespects of the “Mongul”, “Seljukian”, “Helakooian” and other invaders who did their utmost efforts to impair the cultural and traditional manifestations of this territory as the hardships and bitterness imposed upon the carpet weavers.

The influence of Islamic culture on eastern carpets in general, and Persian carpets is obvious to the extend that we have witnessed the transformation of many mythical and old Iranian design to Islamic symbols which have been mainly religious and dramatic. The best example is the “fish design” known as “MAHI-DARHAM”. The design is, in fact, and improved picture of the fish which once was the symbol of Mehr and Mitra (the sun), the old Iranian myths. This symbol was changed to a curved leaf after Islam. 

On the other hand, to respect the pictures and the names of the saints as well as the Qoranic verses, painted on foot carpets, the art of carpet weaving witnessed the appearance of a new type of carpet which took the decorative and curtainlike forms. These later type of carpets ere the first ones which were exported to Europe and were known as “Sajedehei” and “Janamazi Mehrabi”. 

THE GOLDEN YEARS OF CARPET AND ITS ENTRANCE EUROPEAN MARKET

Although the beginning of the period during which carpet presented itself as an artistic – economic good in Iranian society is not known, but the time of its culmination which is equal to the period of production of precious and commercially oriented carpets has almost been determined. There are certain documents that indicate the carpet industry was in its culmination during the reign of Safavid. The famous carpet known as “Sheikh Safei” which has been woven for the tomb of “Sheikh Safieddin Ardebili”, the funder of this dynasty, is now preserved in the Victoria Albert Museum. Other carpets, belonging to this period that are preserved in different museums throughout the world, are the best evidence that the Persian Carpet attained its perfection for almost 100 years for the sake of its designing and coloring.

The Safavid period, especially during the reign of the first three kings of this dynasty, was golden age for carpet. Many of the most beautiful designs, paintings, and textures, such as inconceivable beauty of mosques and historical monuments are indebted to this period. Because of the protection that was carried out for the artists in general and designers and painters in particular, many souvenirs of that golden age can now be seen on the Iranian carpet. Visitors and travelers such as Tavernier and Chardin reported of specific ateliers located near the royal palaces where exquisite carpets were often woven for foreign princes and governors, and at the come time great designers and painters like “Reza Abassi” created their valuable works in there.

We can not talk about this period without remembering with regret that many delicate and priceless carpets which were sent out of Iran in different ways with the help of some companies and brokers. These carpets are now exposed to the sight and pleasure of art lovers from different countries. 

Since it is our intention to discuss about more important aspects of Persian carpet, we will allude briefly to some famous carpets, including “Sheikh Safei” known as “Ardebili Carpet” (A similar carpet to this one is preserved in U.S.A). An important characteristic of this carpet is the weaver’s name and the weaving date which have been mentioned in the margins of the carpet in the following form:

AMAL MAGHSOUD KASHANI 946 Having no shelter, except your threshold, this is all my wealth.

Since the evaluation of carpets, especially the artistic ones, is mostly considered for historical point of view, the date and quality of weaving would be of much importance. It is so, because a carpet like other artistic works, reflects the features and problems of its time.

Due to the modesty of the Iranian artists, most of the old carpets, like other handicrafts do not hold the weaver’s name and the weaving date. However, we have some relatively clear criteria for tracing the time and place of the production of the carpets. These criteria are such as:

The technical and scientific methods used in carpets, the specific principals such as the usage of different materials (wool, silk, cotton, natural and chemical dyes), it degree of wearing out, the degree paleness for determining the age, the type of drawing and coloring, the weaving method and etc.

Despite all these, the name and the date mentioned on a famous carpet like “Sheikh Safei” does not lead us to a clear conclusion, because, while the definite place of carpet is the tomb of “Sheikh Safi Arbebil”, but we know the type of knots and weaver’s name apparently show that carpet has been woven in Persian style in “Kashan”. Although this matter ins not definitely established, it is likely to be correct. It is on the account of the fact that much carpet weaving was not then practiced in “Isfahan” and the city of Tabriz also was not considered a safe place for this purpose because of the “Ottman Turks” invasion. 

Other famous carpets, some of them the most valuable objects of museums, are such as: the famous “Hunting” carpet kept in the “Vienna Museum”, “Chelsi” carpet and “Medallyon” carpet with base design in the Victoria Albert Museum in London, carpet including flower and animas design in the “Poldi Pezzoli” Milan, another carpet with a same style in the “Metropolitan” museum, New York city and hundred more Persian Carpets which are priceless masterpieces and are kept in foreign museums and private collections. It is not known how and when these carpets were transferred to these new places. 

Persian’s Carpets well known quality and beauty facilitate its penetration to the international market. Although Turkish and Chinese came to this market at the same time or probably before Iranians, with the appearance of Persian carpets. Apart from the extraordinary preservation of the Pazirik, there is not any other trace of Persian carpets, except for few occasions, before the sixteenth century. It is very difficult to estimate when Persian carpets came to foreign market as a commercial commodity but according to the visitors’ and travelers’ references, there are documents proving the presence of Persian rugs in: “Venice” and “Geneva” markets alongside with “Anatoli”, “Caucasian” and other carpets. It is an exaggeration to think that Iranians were the first exporters of carpet to European and other markets. There were some other countries, especially Turkey and Anatoli, with traditional Islamic design that have opened this market door before or least at the same time with Persian carpets.

The different kind of these carpets which gradually became the traditional carpet design of Iran are “Mehrabi”, Janamazi Sjadeh” and “Goldani” that are mastered in style, design and production. 

DESIGN & COLORING:

In the absence of a good design and color, the carpet. In its best condition, can be only judged by its fine texture. From artistic point of view, a good carpet is one that is designed by “Behzad”, “Bahadori”, “Srchang”. Or other famous designers or at least has the traditional Eastern form even if it does not include an exceptionally fine texture.

The designs of Abrabzadeh, Rostam, Shirazi, and Binam Tabrizi show such a concept. On the other hand, a good design with its firmness can improve a carpet from the state of a mere commercial object into an artistic work.

But Iranian’s carpet design, which in fact reflects painting and gilding art, is connected to a chain based on which all other limited but perfect Iranian’s arts such as calligraphy, Engraving, designing carved-works, Gilding and even diaphoretic, are found. Although traditional and social restriction in some Iranian artistic fields limited them; it influenced the creative mind of artists and caused their work in poetry or writing full of deep sensibility. Carpet-weaving became a vast field where all those hidden arts, in old, buried books came out of their exiles and after a hard work, were combined with fine design and color that created many fine carpets for the future generation.

Whenever carpet designing was protected; it was not only a good chance for showing the artistic ability of its generation, but also an opportunity for the symbolic presentation of historical, social, and national concepts.

Blossoming arts such as calligraphy designing, and gilding are the best results drawn from the combination of the young Islamic ideas with the old Sassanid works. Carpet designing is the continuation of arts such as: gilding and writing in Iran. Traditional designing reached its perfection at the Safavid age. Although “Pazirik” or other designs on the works like “cachmere” and “needle lace” show that 2000 years ago there was a kind of primitive but at the same time planned designing; there is no document which could show us when carpet designing exactly began to change. Since there has always been a linkage between the decorative and drawing arts in the Iranian handicraft, we can estimate that at least carpets produced in cities, were like gilding, tilework, and other arts in whose perfection, designing played the major role. The perfection of the tenth and eleventh centuries’ art was the continuation of the above-mentioned styles. 

The glorious period of carpet-designing in Iran belongs certainly to the Safavid age. Carpet-designing like other artistic works, was improves by the support of the government. Although in carpets that are presented in museums, we see no trace of famous artists such as Reza Abbasi, Behzad or Soltan Mohammad; the production of such beautiful and valuable carpets is the result of their and talent. 

The support of designing carpet-weaving during Safavid age, not only enriched today’s world with the most beautiful assemblage of artistic work, but also affected the history of carpet-weaving of Iran greatly years after it. The effort in the ground of carpet-weaving not only led to the development of classical designs but also created a new field in carpet-weaving, which was the use of figurative painting (miniature). The use of painting made Persian carpets, the most unrivalled kind in the world.

After the Safavid age, a recession began in the carpet industry. Although we have some slight movements during and after Qajar dynasty; it was nothing more than the repetition of the gold design. It is not necessary to repeat that any other art except carpet needs to change itself whit time in order to survive, but in carpets-weaving; although, the designs of 500 years ago with its particularities and colors are still used; it does not lose its attraction and beauty.