As a weaving tradition, rug making has long been one of the most significant aspects of culture in many societies and regions. This is especially true of Turkey, a country that sits on the edge of both Europe and Asia, and has been shaped by centuries of warring dynasties, invading forces and contentious relations with its neighbors. As such, the Turkish people have long been a major component of the carpet weaving world. This is evident in the wide variety of vintage turkish rugs on the market today that display the rich history of this weaving art form.
From entwined botanical designs to rhythmic geometrics and antique ruby reds, these rugs evoke the rich heritage of the region they hail from. With a vast array of patterns and colors, it’s no wonder that antique Turkish rugs are among the most desirable decorative carpets for interior designers today.
During the thirteenth century, it was the Seljuk Turks who brought the rug weaving techniques of Central Asia to Anatolia. This marked the beginning of a rich tradition that continues to this day, with Turkey producing a tremendous range of intricately decorated wool rugs. The majority of these rugs are loved for their lustrous pastels and beautifully stylized arabesques as well as their larger-scale, botanical designs.
The most well-known types of Turkish rugs are kilim, characterized by a plain slit tapestry weave; sumak, made with weft wrapping for a sturdier flat woven piece; and cicim, a type of sumak that is hand-brocaded to produce a finer and more decorative rug. Milan-based carpet dealer Alfredo Levi notes that these types of rugs were first introduced to European markets in the sixteenth century, and remained prized as both decorative commodities as well as artistically influential pieces. It is not uncommon to find the patterns found on these rugs incorporated into paintings of European artists such as Hans Holbein, and they are still revered for their unique color pairings that can effectively tie together an entire room.
During the Ottoman era, the design motifs of Turkish rugs continued to evolve and improve upon those established by the Seljuks. The Timurid era is credited for the development of the central medallion pattern that would become one of the most defining features of Oriental rug design. The production of Turkish rugs continued to boom during this time, with Bergama rugs creating tribal-influenced Turkoman pieces, Hereke rugs displaying elegant, curve-linear patterns worthy of Ottoman palaces and Oushak producing decorative room-sized rugs that are revered for their soft pastel coloring.
Whether you’re looking for a kilim with a bold, tribal pattern or a sumak with a more refined floral motif, finding the perfect Turkish rug for your home has never been easier! To shop for vintage turkish rugs online, simply go to the Etsy marketplace and search by “VINTAGE TURKISH RUGS.” Then select the filters that best fit your taste, including “free shipping” and the maximum price you want to pay. The results will be a curated selection of the finest, most pristine antique Turkish rugs for sale online.