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Including carpets, rugs, embroidery and lace

Carpets & Rugs

Traditional Oriental rugs are made on vertical looms strung with 3 to 24 vertical warp threads per centimetre. Working from bottom to top, the rug maker either weaves the rug for a flat surface or knots it to form a pile. After the rug is completely knotted, its pile is sheared and the warp threads […]  Continue Reading »

Persian Carpets

Regional and village carpets from Persia (Iran) are designated by their place of origin (such as Bakhtiari, Bijar, Feraghan, Hamadan, Herez, Isfahan, Kashan, Kerman, Khorassan, Kurdistan, Sarouk, Sehna, Shiraz, and Tabriz). They most often use a central medallion design or an all-over pattern of flowers. The great Persian rug-making tradition culminated in the densely woven […]  Continue Reading »

Caucasian Rugs

Caucasian rugs are made by various tribes in the mountainous regions between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Their rugs are generally small with wide borders and all-over geometric patterns, often incorporating stars, squares and swastikas. The best known include the Baku, Chichi, Daghestan, Kabistan, Kazak, Kuba, Shirvan, the flat-woven Soumak, and the Karabag. […]  Continue Reading »

Turkish (Anatolian) Rugs

Rugs have been made in Turkey since the 12th century and were exported to Europe in large quantities until early in the 20th century. In 1922, Kemal Ataturk, after a victory in a war with Greece, expelled some two million Turks of Greek descent from the country. Unfortunately, these included most of Turkey’s rug makers. […]  Continue Reading »

Central Asian Rugs

Turkoman rugs are made by the nomads of Central Asia and Turkestan and include Afghan, Baluchi and Bokhara. Most are reddish and have a geometric design that incorporates the coat of arms (or “gul”) of the individual tribe. Turkoman rugs are usually made by women and are highly regarded for their workmanship. Turkoman weavers are […]  Continue Reading »

Indian Rugs

The Indian Mogul emperors of the 16th and 17th centuries imported not only Persian carpets but their weavers as well. These produced finely woven floral and hunting rugs. These weavers also made rugs for export, some incorporating European coats of arms. However, exports on a large scale began only at the end of the nineteenth […]  Continue Reading »

Chinese Rugs

Simplicity of design, serenity of composition, a limited range of subdued and harmonious colours, usually blue or yellow in many shades. Symbolic motifs characterise traditional Chinese rugs. Frequently recurring designs in Chinese rugs include geometrics such as the familiar meander border; animals including various dragon forms, Fu dogs, storks, cranes, butterflies, and bats; realistic flowers; […]  Continue Reading »


Embroidery originally referred to the stitched decoration on medieval church vestments. Embroidered pictures, or “needle painting” became increasingly popular from about 300 AD, reaching its height in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy. As well as needle painting, coloured decorative embroidery and white-on-white embroidered linen were produced. In Spain, under Moorish rule, a variety […]  Continue Reading »


Needlepoint lace first appeared in Italy early in the 16th century; bobbin lace was first produced about fifty years later in the Low Countries. (Needlepoint lace derived from embroidery and is made with a sewing needle and consists mainly of buttonhole stitches. Bobbin lace developed from weaving and is made by twisting and platting threads […]  Continue Reading »