Rugs are a decorator’s go-to for creating a pulled together look in a space. They are the perfect way to add an artistic expression of the space’s personality and can instantly transform a room from rustic to elegant. Vintage Turkish rugs are a designer favorite and are an excellent choice to bring bohemian allure to a space. From kilim to handknotted, these unique antique pieces are often prized for their superior craftsmanship and bold patterns.
The ancient weaving traditions of Turkey can be traced back to the Seljuk Turks who conquered much of the region. However, it was the Ottoman empire that really shifted the course of carpet weaving in the country. Their rule, which lasted until the early 1900’s, encompassed one of the largest contiguous land empires in history. This expansion brought with it new materials and new weaving techniques. While the popular central medallion rug format that had been introduced by the Seljuks was maintained, Ottoman weavers reshaped the look of traditional motifs.
As a result of the wide-reaching empires that governed Asia Minor and Europe from Turkish capitals, many different regions developed distinct carpet styles. The Anatolian plateau was home to a number of these tribal weaving traditions that remain to this day. The most famous are the Oushak rugs. These rugs, known for their understated elegance, are woven with wool that is dyed using natural ingredients like madder or cochineal (a red dye produced by Kerkes beetles). Other areas of the country have their own specialties as well. Ladik carpets, for example, are characterized by their asymmetry and use of dramatic natural dyes in a rich rose to burgundy palette. Those utilizing the prayer rug format may display more intricate, clearly rendered geometric compositions while Bergama rugs are more sophisticated and formal in their designs.
For a modern take on traditional oriental carpets, check out the Oushak Rug collection from Layla Grace. These rugs are hand-knotted by master weavers that capture the spirit and style of original antique Oushak pieces. They are crafted with New Zealand wool that is spun by the weavers to give the pieces a lush texture. These beautiful antique replicas are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles so that you can easily find the ideal piece for your home.
In addition to offering a stunning selection of rugs, Layla Grace has an excellent blog about how to care for antique rugs. Among the most important tips is to vacuum them frequently with a soft brush attachment on low suction power and shake them out in the sunshine regularly, if possible. This will help keep dust off the rug and prevent a buildup of dirt that could damage its fabric. If you want to keep your rug looking its best, it’s also a good idea to clean the rug with mild detergents on a regular basis. Ultimately, it’s all about the care that you provide for your rug, which will ensure that it can serve you for generations to come.