Oushak Rugs

History of the Oushak Rug

Oushak rugs, which are also known as Ushak rugs, have their origins in Western Turkey. There, they are woven using a specialist technique to create the distinctive designs that have made them popular for centuries. 

Oushak Rug

Oushak Weaving

The craftsmanship involved in creating an Oushak rug is impressive. 

Materials such as cotton, silk, wool, and metal threads are used in the manufacturing process, and Oushak weavers are highly trained.

Oushak weaving methods were passed down through generations, and specific knots would evolve in particular areas to slightly modify the traditional technique. How the rug-maker has knotted the rug is crucial to the density and durability of the rug. Knots are also packed down using a tool known as a punja that looks like a comb.

Oushak Designs

Traditionally, these designs included large floral patterns and angular shapes. These designs have changed over time to reflect contemporary fashions but their fundamental style remains the same.

Oushak rugs get their name from a region south of Istanbul where they were initially made. They were first produced in the 15th century by nomads for their personal use but were eventually sold throughout Europe.

You can identify an Oushak rug by the colors used: golden or dark ivory backgrounds are common, as are floral and geometric designs. Natural vegetable dyes are used. Lately, commercially-made Oushaks have favored a red background.

Oushak Rug

Oushaks in Culture

After a period of unpopularity in which Europeans preferred to buy their rugs from European manufacturers, Oushak carpets came back into fashion in a big way. Sadly, by then, Oushak the region had lost its rug-making tradition. Surrounding villages took up the practice and made rugs using the old process.

Interestingly, modern anthropological studies have found that Oushak rugs were used in the larger mosques of Istanbul. Covering the floor of mosques such as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque were hundreds of rugs, almost all produced in Oushak and its surrounding areas!

You can find these rugs in art from the Renaissance Period, testifying to their popularity. Where rugs didn’t survive, paintings of them did! They provided distinctive and colorful backdrops to artwork, and different styles can be dated using paintings! 

Buying an Oushak Rug

An Oushak rug can be a beautiful addition to the interior of your home. When shopping for an Oushak rug, bear the following guidance in mind:

  • It should be hand-knotted, and more knots is an indication of higher quality.
  • Remember that not every rug that looks like an Oushak is actually made using the traditional technique.
  • Look for naturally-dyed Oushak rugs as opposed to chemically-dyed ones.
  • Buy your Oushak rug from a reputable dealer to ensure its authenticity.

If you’re fascinated by the rich tradition of Oushak rugs and you’d like to embrace it by buying one for yourself, check out the extensive collection available at Rug Source.

We are established rug experts, and we’ll be able to guide you in selecting the ideal rug for your living space. You can trust our rugs to be of the highest quality.

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